Photograph Collections

Ivory Photograph Collection

This company is an Ann Arbor photography firm that spent several years as an official photographic entity for the University of Michigan. The photographs within the collection mainly include the university and Ann Arbor but also include Ypsilanti and the rest of Washtenaw County. Subjects include buildings, businesses, houses, street scenes, and organizations. The images date from 1927 to 1971. Please see the online finding aid for a more extensive description of the collection.

Michigan Daily Photograph Collection

The collection contains photographs created for the university's student newspaper. It contains several smaller groups of images either arranged chronologically, alphabetically by subject matter or name, or grouped according to the photographer's name. The main topics include Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Student Life, University, and Other Topics. The photographs range from 1963 to 1995. The finding aid to the Michigan Daily records includes guides to both chronoligical and subject arrangement of the negatives.

Postcard Collection

The Bentley Historical Library collects picture postcards with scenes or subjects related to Michigan. This ten-box collection contains postcards from almost every town, city, and region within the state. It also includes scenes from Michigan's colleges and universities. The collection, dating from the 1890s to the present, is arranged alphabetically by city name or by subject. The Postcard Collection's finding aid is available at the library. The finding aid lists the geographic locations represented in the Postcard collection.

Rentschler's Studio Photograph Collection

Rentschler's Studio was an Ann Arbor photograph firm. This collection mainly contains prints and negatives relating to University of Michigan athletics including photographs of individual athletes and team groupings. The collection also includes images of various faculty members and administrative officers of the university. The finding aid, located in the library, includes a name index for the images. The images date from 1889 to 1969.

George Robert Swain Collection

George Robert Swain was an official University of Michigan photographer from 1913 to 1947. The prints within the collection contain Ann Arbor and University of Michigan subjects. Ann Arbor images include local events, residences, buildings, and schools. University of Michigan subjects include events, artwork, buildings, organizations, and campus views. There are also some university faculty member portraits within the collection. A detailed guide to the collection can be found online.

University of Michigan. Alumni Association Visual Materials Series

Photos collected for use by Michigan Alumnus magazine, including photos of university buildings, student and alumni activities, and portraits and other photos of individual students (especially athletes), alumni, faculty, staff, and prominent visitors. An online finding aid exists for the Alumni Association's records. A listing of individual names can by found by clicking on "Photographs: Michigan Alumnus Magazine Files" along the side index and scrolling down to the "Individuals" section located within boxes 139 through 147. A comprehensive name list also exists within the library's copy of the finding aid.

University of Michigan. Athletic Department

If an individual was involved with university sports, he or she may be mentioned within the Athletic Department's records. The records, primarily from the Sports Information Office, include team rosters, press releases and newsclippings, scrapbooks, media guides, game programs, and team, individual, and game action photos for all varsity sports. The records also include game films of football and basketball. The records date from 1860 to current materials. A finding aid for the Athletic Department is available online.

University of Michigan. Biomedical Communications

This is a unit within the Department of Postgraduate Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School with responsibility for medical photography, illustration, and television and video production. The visual materials series includes photographs of: University of Michigan medical faculty and staff; medical school students and graduating classes, 1852-1999 (with gaps); University of Michigan medical buildings and facilities, c. 1870-c. 1980; and clinical training of students. Please see the online finding aid for an index of individual names and class listings.

University of Michigan Class Albums

A page of portraits from the 1869 class album

A Page of Portraits from the 1869
Class Album

These are scrapbooks compiled by early graduating classes. Their contents vary but generally include individual and group portraits of class members, faculty portraits, and views of university buildings, the campus, and Ann Arbor scenes. A finding aid within the library describes the contents of each album. Due to their fragility and occasionally oversized nature, the library is unable to photocopy class albums. Some pages and photographs have negatives and can be reproduced through copy photographs. The library has class albums for graduation years 1861 through 1887. A compiled finding aid to the class albums includes indexes to the content of individual albums.

University of Michigan. Class of (1858-1930)

This collection contains miscellaneous documents gathered about a particular graduating class. The dates are not inclusive and therefore do not have information about every year's graduating class. The materials vary by year but some of the materials include class histories, poems, letters, scrapbooks, photographs, reunion information, biographical information about class members, and memorials. Check MIRLYN for exact listings of class collections.

University of Michigan Faculty and Staff Portrait Collection

The University Library originally collected these four boxes of photographs. Overall, it contains portraits of around 750 faculty and staff of the university. There is a searchable online finding aid listing the names of each person represented within the collection. The photographs date from around 1860 to 1960 although the most of the photos are from the 1800s and the 1930s.

University of Michigan. Law School Photograph Series

The photographs of the Law School records includes faculty and staff portraits, scenes from the Judge Advocate General's School held during World War II, and photographs of the Law Library and Law Quadrangle buildings. There are also student photographs, including scattered class photographs and informal shots; and photographs of Senior Day--the Law School graduation ceremony--including pictures of the speakers and some of the degree recipients. Class and individual student photographs date from 1866-1910, 1956, 1958, and the 1970s although a few graduation ceremony images exist from the 1960s through the 1990s. A detailed listing of the collection can be found online.

Composite senior class photos were created beginning with the class of 1873. Digital versions of the class composites are available online. for the classes of 1873-1969.

University of Michigan. News & Information Services Photographs

This record group of the University of Michigan News and Information Service photographs records many aspects of university and community life, particularly activities of the administration, faculty, departments, and students beginning in 1946 and continuing into the early 1980s. Photographs were, for the most part, made by the staff of the News and Information Service for use with university press releases, or upon request of individuals with the university, or for outside media with special interest in university personnel or activities.

Series D of the News and Information Photographs consists of faculty portraits, dating from 1949 to 1983 An on-line finding aid lists all individuals represented in the collection. Please contact the library for specific photographic subjects.

University of Michigan Photographs Vertical File

Photographs collected from various sources, depicting personnel including administrative figures, faculty, and staff members; campus buildings including classroom facilities, museums, gardens, extension units, medical center, and libraries; historical; events including commencement, special celebrations, anniversaries, and emergencies; student life including housing, organizations, publications, clubs, sororities, fraternities, cooperatives, theater, sports, and musical organizations; and class portraits. There is an online finding aid describing the collection. The images date from the 1850s to the 1980s.

University of Michigan Student Portraits

The nine-box collection contains portraits of University of Michigan students. They are mainly graduation portraits but also include scattered taken years after their attendance at the university. There is a name index within the finding aid located in the library. Dates range from around 1860 to around 1950 but the main part of the collection dates from 1870 to 1900. There is a finding aid in the library for the collection. An online finding aid to the collection lists all identified photos.


1924 Michiganensian

1924 Michiganensian

University of Michigan yearbooks capture campus life and student activities. They usually contain photographs and information regarding sports, student groups, fraternities and sororities, theatrical and dance productions, and events affecting campus life. Generally, only portraits of undergraduate seniors are shown. Not all students appear in the yearbooks and it is also not proof of graduation. Graduate students are not well documented in yearbooks although individual departments, such as the Medical School, have their own annual publications. Titles held by the library include Castalian (1866-1896), The Palladium (1885-1896), Res gestae (1895-1896), and Michiganensian or Ensian (1897-current).