University Photograph Collection
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center [Contact Us]3401 Market Street, Suite 210, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The University Photograph Collection of the University of Pennsylvania Archives includes approximately 23,000 black and white photographs documenting the history of the University. This collection includes images gathered by George E. Nitzsche as Recorder of the University from 1901 to 1944. As the University's sometime "Publicity Agent," he went out of his way to gather and preserve photographs as well as manuscripts, prints and memorabilia related to University history. Other photographs in this collection had their origins in the News Bureau (from the late 1920's to 1985), Alumni organizations and the Athletic Department. Note that photographs are also found in many other University Archives collections.
Local free-lance photographers hired by the Office of the Recorder took many of the earlier images; other photographers include R. Newell and Sons, William Rau, A.P. Cline, E. Moebius, Pierce and Jones, William M. Rittase, Jules Schick and Lawrence Williams.
The University Photograph Collection consists of three series: Buildings, Groups and Events, and Sports.
The Building Series chronicles the University's physical development from the late 1870s through the mid-1970s. It includes interior and exterior views of architecturally significant academic, administrative and residential buildings on campus. Some of the more prominent images include Bennett Hall, Franklin Field, the Furness Library, Houston Hall, and Logan Hall. There are also images of buildings and streetscapes that no longer exist. They include nineteenth century campus views of the Almshouse, the Athletic Fields at 36th and Spruce Streets, Walnut Street, Woodland Avenue, the University Power Plant, Sergeant Hall and Beaston's Store at 3701 Spruce Street.
The Groups and Events Series documents the academic and social activities on campus. It features photographs of both current and past traditional University events such as Hey Day, Ivy Day, Commencement, Bowl Fights and May Day celebrations. Other categories include dramatic events, medical societies, the Christian Association, student life, World War I and II, and the Zeloscopic Society.
The Sports Series is dominated by basketball (1915-1960), crew (1884-1958) and football (1878-1950). The bulk of the earlier images are team photographs.
Photographs in this collection are organized in three series: Buildings, Groups and Events, and Sports. Within each series, photographs are arranged alphabetically by subject.
- University of Pennsylvania: University Archives and Records Center
- Access Restrictions
Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.