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University Archives Reference Photograph Collection

Identifier: ua01130

Collection Contents

The collection contains print photographs and negatives, the bulk of which were created by staff of the University of Minnesota Photographic Laboratory. When the Laboratory successor, Biomedical Graphics, ceased operations in December 1993, a large collection of photographic reprints and negatives was transferred to the Archives. Staff assembled this general photographic collection from those materials to aid reference services.

The collection is divided into three series:

  • Activities, Events, and Organizations This series contains photographs of university-affiliated activities, events and organizations, alphabetized by subject.
  • Faculty, Staff, and Student Portraits This series contains faculty, staff, and student portraits, organized alphabetically by last name.
  • Campus Scenes, Buildings, and Facilities This series contains photographs of campus scenes, buildings, and facilities organized alphabetically by building or facility name underneath 3 sub-series: Minneapolis Campus; St. Paul Campus; and Coordinate Campuses and Outstate Facilities.
Select a series under "Navigate the Collection" for additional description and to view the list of files associated with each series.

Individual print photographs may have additional caption and date information recorded on the back. Envelopes in which the negatives are contained also record additional caption and date information. In many cases, the print photographs include an ink stamp stating “File Print,” a handwritten number, or crop lines/marks on the front of the photograph that may obscure the image.

Digital Access

Print photographs from the folders that comprise the Faculty, Staff, and Student Portraits series and the Campus Scenes, Buildings, and Facilities series were digitized. Search for the name of a person or a building/facility in the University of Minnesota Archives Photograph Collection in the UMedia Archive.


  • 1880s - 1990s

Use of Materials

Items in this collection do not circulate and may be used in-house only.


Researchers may quote from the collection under the fair use provision of the copyright law (Title 17, U.S. Code). Requests to publish should be arranged with the University of Minnesota Archives.


50 Cubic Feet (31 Paige boxes; 3 file drawers) : Black and white and color print photographs and film negatives

Language of Materials



Photographs depicting activities, events, organizations, faculty, staff, students, campus scenes, buildings, and facilities of the University of Minnesota.

Processing Information

Folders were originally stored in lateral filing cabinets in the University Archives office suite. Due to a physical space reorganization, the bulk of the collection was removed from filing cabinets, boxed, and relocated to archival storage.

University Archives Reference Photograph Collection
In Progress
Lydia Larson, Rebecca Toov
August 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • August 2022: Collection guide created, First series contents list added (Lydia Larson)
  • September 2022: Second series contents list added (Mercer Dilweg); Third series contents list and series level description added (Rebecca Toov)

Collecting Area Details

Contact The University Archives Collecting Area