Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Online sources for historical photographs

Looking for a good historic image?

Several digital photograph archives have been brought to my attention recently. The hard-working folks at the Yellowstone Gateway Museum of Park County, in Livingston, Montana, have created the Bill and Doris Whithorn Online Database, which includes over thousands of historic photographs, mostly from Park County and southwestern Montana. Check it out at http://yellowstone.pastperfect-online.com/.

Museum of the Rockies has two online digital photograph archives: http://www.montana.edu/wwwmor/photoarc/. Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains features images from three of the Montana State University campuses ( Bozeman, Billings, and Havre), the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman, and Little Big Horn College in Crow Agency, Montana. The Ron V. Nixon Railroad Photography Collection , which provides access to Ron V. Nixon Railroad Photography Collection at the Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive. That collection features 20,000 photographs documenting the Northern Pacific Railway and several other northwestern railroads.

Outside Montana, the Oregon State archives has launched a new collection of Western Waters related images using Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/osucommons/collections/72157622545937447/.

And of course there is Montana Memory Project: http://www.mtmemory.org/. This digital archives is so big, that it is sometimes easier to approach it through individual collections, using either the “Browse” feature or the “Advance Search” feature. Among the great photograph collections available through Montana Memory are “Central Montana Historical Photographs” (almost 1,000 images posted by the Lewistown Public Library; “MHS Photo Archives” (300 images and growing from the Montana Historical Society’s collection); the “Jack  L. Demmons Bonner School Photographs” (over 1,600 photographs depicting life in and around Bonner, Montana, from the late 1800s through the 1950s).

Finally, on the national front, the January issue of TeachingHistory.org included a link to this article on how to find good websites filled with reliable images for teaching U. S. History:  http://teachinghistory.org/digital-classroom/ask-a-digital-historian/24089

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