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Tom Wells, Curator

If you have reference questions relating to this collection or questions for the curator, please contact us.

Photograph Archives

Tom Wells, Curator

If you have reference questions relating to this collection or questions for the curator, please e-mail us at tom_wells@byu.edu.


The Photograph Archives in Special Collections contains historical images, negatives, and prints from the dawn of photography in the 1840’s to the present. Well over one million images including original prints, negatives both on glass and film represent the full range of subjects in which manuscripts are collected, with special emphasis given to the history of photography in Utah and the American West.

The Photograph Archives especially collects the work of Utah photographers, images of Mormonism and the settlement of Utah, and the photographic history of Brigham Young University. The names of some of the photographers represented in this Utah segment of the collection include Charles Roscoe Savage, George Beard, George Edward Anderson, Charles Ellis Johnson, Joseph Bagley, Elfie Huntington Bagley and more recently, J  M. Heslop.

In addition to documenting the history of Utah and western photography, the Photograph Archives devotes attention to the history of American photography. As the archives collects the photographs of individual photographers, it attempts to acquire complete archives of original negatives and prints. The collections comprise virtually every type of photographic record, material, process, format, and size. To preserve the fragile nature of the photographs for future generations, a 1,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art cold-storage facility has been constructed. Within this controlled environment, the expected life of BYU’s photograph collections will last well into the new millennium.

Those wishing to obtain copies of photographs from our archives, may find more information on our Copy Requests page.

Last Modified: August 19, 2013

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