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Audio-Visual Resources @ Pitt Archives & Special Collections (A&SC): Photographic Resources

Guide to audio-visual collections at Archives & Special Collections. Including information on rights and reproductions.

About the Archives Service Center Photographic Collections

The Archives Service Center at the University of Pittsburgh houses hundreds of thousands of photographic images as both standalone collections and as part of manuscript collections. These collections include images documenting Pittsburgh’s industrial past, local groups and organizations, and prominent residents. Many of the photographic collections in the archives are also featured online in our digital collections.     

Collections have been broken down into their subject areas for easier reference. The pages can be navigated by  using the drop down links that appear under Photographic Resources. Here is what can be found under the various headings:



Usage Highlights in Film- Shot Felt 'Round the World

Usage Highlights in Film- Undaunted: The Forgotten Giants of the Allegheny Observatory

How Are Our Photographs Used?

Photographs provide an added visual insight that manuscript materials cannot provide.  Photographs are primary resources providing the visual evidence researchers seek to prove their points and move their stories forward.  To read about the Pittsburgh Peace March in 1968  is one experience; to see what actually happened is truly moving.

The Archives has provided photographic content to support a variety of projects both in film and in book formats. Our images can be seen in places such as Rick Sebak's Pittsburgh History Series, Steeltown Entertainment Projects' "Shot Felt 'Round the World," a documentary about Jonas Salk and the polio vaccine, the Travel Channel, the History Channel, WGBH, and the BBC among others.

Images have also appeard in publication in journals, magazines, and  books including several of Arcadia Publishing's Images of America series featuring rich histories of neighborhoods such as Shadyside, Oakland, and Downtown and Allegheny City which documents the history of the North Side just published by the University of Pittsburgh Press. Exhibits at the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Heinz History Center, the Brooklyn Museum and other museums around the world have all used our photograph collections either as reference resources or have hung the images in their galleries.

Usage Highlights in Print

These books published photographs from ASC collections:

Cover Art
Downtown Pittsburgh - Stuart P. BoehmigEdit/Delete
Call Number: F159.P643 B64 2007
ISBN: 0738550426
Publication Date: 2007-09-26
Downtown Pittsburgh is a 300-acre triangle of land where the Allegheny and Monongahela Rivers converge to form the mighty Ohio River. Between the rivers is a tiny spit of flat-bottom land once known as the gateway to the West, the portal to a vast, remote, unexplored wilderness. Ownership of this strategic wedge of land was fiercely contested for hundreds of years. Downtown Pittsburgh is the story of the great transformation of this city and its contributions to the world.

Cover Art
 Historic Photos of Pittsburgh - Miriam Meislik (Text by)Edit/Delete
 Call Number: F159.P643 M45 2008
 ISBN: 9781596523302
 Publication Date: 2008-04-01
 Founded on a triangle of land bounded by two mighty rivers, Pittsburgh has a long and storied chapter in American history. Currently the second-largest city in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh grew from a fur-trading post  into Steeltown, U.S.A. Historic Photos of Pittsburgh examines the growth and change of this important American city.
Cover ArtOakland - Walter C. Kidney; Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh Staff; The Pittsburgh History & Landmarks FoundationEdit/Delete
Call Number: F159.P66 O375 2005
ISBN: 0738538671
Publication Date: 2005-08-24
Oakland, located two miles east of downtown Pittsburgh, is a place where people have gone to enjoy rustic tranquility, culture, socialization, entertainment, and education. Through more than 150 years, much has changed in this neighborhood. Where children once caught crayfish, a fantastic skyscraper rose, a Greek Revival villa yielded to a hospital, a trolley barn turned into a sports arena, a fountain was created on a buried bridge, and a hillside cow pasture became a university campus. Bit by bit, this municipal showplace came into being through an attempt to improve the Smoky City by establishing a sprawling museum complex, a vast park, universities, clubhouses, auditoriums, a glamourous hotel, apartments, and a model neighborhood of houses.

Cover Art
Pittsburgh's Shadyside - Donald DohertyEdit/Delete
Call Number: F159.P66 S533 2008
ISBN: 9780738557014
Publication Date: 2008-07-01
The suburb of Shadyside was established in the middle of farmland during the late 1860s when the Shadyside train station opened. As Pittsburgh grew into the world's preeminent industrial city, Shadyside became the home of many influential men of the industrial age. Rapid change struck Shadyside early in the 20th century when commerce sprouted up around the perimeter of the neighborhood to cater to the residentsa demand for luxury goods and services. Within another decade industry moved in, especially close to the train tracks, and in 1915, the Ford Motor Company assembly plant opened in Shadyside.
The Spencers of Amberson Avenue - Ethel SpencerEdit/Delete
ISBN: 0822953560
Publication Date: 1983-06-30
This memoir introduces the family of Charles Hart Spencer and his wife Mary Acheson: seven children born between 1884 and 1895. It also introduces a large Victorian house in Shadyside and a middle-class way of life at the turn of the century. Mr. Spencer, who worked--not very happily--for Henry Clay Frick, was one of the growing number of middle-management employees in American industrial cities in the 1880s and 1890s. His income, which supported his family of nine, a cook, two regular nurses, and at times a wet nurse and her baby, guaranteed a comfortable life but not a luxurious one. Through the eyes of Ethel Spencer, the third daughter, we are led with warmth and humor through the routine of everyday life in this household: school, play, church on Sundays, illness, family celebrations, and vacations.