As with the Department’s Art Collection, our Photography Collection chronicles the people, events, and landscapes shaping the settlement and growth of the West. Original items include images of Native Americans, immigrant life, mining, Denver’s African American community, the city of Denver and other Colorado towns, railroads and more. Images from the Hayden, Powell, King, and Wheeler expeditions are represented, along with the work of William Henry Jackson, and a complete set of the portfolios of Edward S. Curtis photogravures. Also represented in the collection are works by Horace S. Poley, L. C. McClure, Burnis McCloud, David F. Barry, and Roger Whitacre. A vast collection of images, national in scope, created by the railroaders Otto Perry and Robert W. Richardson, are highlights of a still larger body of railroad photographs. Early twentieth-century Denver is chronicled in the marvelous images of the irreverent newspaper photographer Harry Rhoads, while WPA albums document Colorado projects, including playgrounds, trails, and parks, many of which have now disappeared. The Public Service Company of Colorado photographs document changes to Colorado towns across the 20th century, while the Rocky Mountain News print and digital photographs cover news across Colorado over the past 50 years.

A variety of photographic forms are found among our more than 600,000 images, and these include prints, film negatives, glass negatives, cartes-de-visite, tintypes, photograph albums and stereocards. Most date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Over 427,000 digitized images, including 20,000 from the Colorado Historical Society, can be found online in our Digital Collections. Research Guide