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Photograph Archives

Guide to the Photograph Archives in L. Tom Perry Special Collections

About the Photograph Archives

The Photograph Archives in Special Collections contains historical images, negatives, and prints from the dawn of photography in the 1840s to the present. Well over one million images including original prints and 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, 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, BYU’s photograph collections will lbe preserved for future generations.

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

Visit Special Collections

Location: Level 1 North, BYU Library
Monday - Thursday 8am-9pm (Closed for devotional on Tuesday 10:45 am – 12:15 pm)
Friday 8am-6pm
Saturday 10am-6pm
Sunday Closed

Materials may be requested prior to your visit. Register and request materials here. We are also happy to help you with your questions online. You can reach us by email at or on the library website chat.