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Audio-Visual Resources @ Pitt Archives & Special Collections (A&SC): Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania

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


Birmingham Union Collection, 1893-1977, AIS.1978.10 This manuscript collection contains several hundred photographs documeting life in the South Side during the late-nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries. Subjects such as churches, mills, workers, and people are featured.

Herb Ferguson Photograph Collection, 1988-1997, AIS.2011.11 This collection documents the entire run of the newspaper Oakland produced by the Oakland Planning and Development Corporation. Items include 35mm black and white negatives, gelatin silver prints, and copies of each newspaper issue with associated notes and correspondence. Contents date from 1988 through 1997.

Family Photographs

Spencer Family Photograph Collection, 1896-1911, AIS.1991.07 Contains 1,275 photographic prints housed in nine photograph albums  taken in the Pictorialist style by Charles Hart Spencer. These images document the Spencer family and life at 719 Amberson  Avenue in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Also included are photographs of family travels to the beach in Sea Girt,  New Jersey and the Catskill Mountains in New York. There are 169 images available online.

Darlington Family Papers, 1753-1921, DAR.1925.01 Photographic prints contained in five albums dating between 1885 to 1888  can be found as part of series XI. The photographs created in the Pictorialist style were taken by Edith Dennison Darlington  Ammon and O'Hara Darlington and depict family, friends, daily life at Guyasuta, and environmental views. Also included are  photographs taken by members of the Pittsburgh Amateur Photographers' Society. Two scrapbooks containing photographs  and other memorabilia documenting the Darlington family trip to Constantinople, Greece, Italy and Egypt in 1881-1882 are also  available. A total of 156 images appear online.

Magee Family Papers, 1790-1952, DAR.1968.01 Photographs from the Magee Family  Papers can be found in series V. and date from roughly 1850-1915.  Items include  family and individual portraits, early Pittsburgh, travel photographs of a yet untamed  western United States, and the construction of the Panama Canal, among many other views. It is a "who's who" of historical photographic processes and formats, including tintypes, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, albumen prints, cyanotypes, gelatin dry plates, and others.

 Edward J. Shourek Photograph Collection, AIS.1991.19b Contains 196 gelatin dry plate negatives  dating between 1913 and 1920 of Shourek's family, friends, pets, and farm animals.  Also included are views of East Liberty, Pittsburgh schools and Pittsburgh  landmarks.Some travel photographs to Ohio, New York, and West Virgina can also be found  There are 51 photographs from this  collection are available online.

 Templeton Smith Photograph Collection, AIS.1998.48 Contains 98 photographic portraits of men, women and children from Templeton Smith's family. The images themselves document a variety of photographic types, including albumen prints, cyanotype, tintype, and gelatin silver prints; they date between 1880-1920. Several Pittsburgh photographers are represented in the collection including B. L. H. Dabbs, Davis Mahan, Ralph Mineart, H. E. Platt, G. Aufrecht, and Joseph Morris. 


Aerial Photographs of Pittsburgh Collection, ca. 1923-1937, AIS.1988.06  A collection of 137 views of Pittsburgh and nearby industrial location, 21 of which appear online.

Allegheny Observatory Records, 1850-1967, UA.5.1  This collection contains manuscript materials consisting of correspondence and letterpress books belonging to eight of the observatory's directors, including directors' miscellany, notes, articles, correspondence, administrative files, notebooks, drawings, mechanical drawings, photographic prints and negatives, news releases, news clippings, a scrapbook, and both historical documents and articles. It also includes approximately 300 photographic images taken between 1850 and 1967, as well as photographs taken by Frank C. Jordan, director from 1939 through 1941, of family, friends, domestic scenes, and images of observatories in the United States.

Harold Corsini Photograph Collection, ca. 1943-1970s, AIS.2007.05  This collection documents Corsini's private work after the Pittsburgh Photographic Library project. Contains photographs produced from the 1940s to the 1970s from approximately 440 projects represented in print, negative, and slide form, as well as his work as a photographer during World War II. 600 images from the collection appear online.

George Coppola Photograph Collection, 1980-2000, AIS.2003.02 This collection contains 1,507 photographic images depicting Pittsburgh subjects including the Pittsburgh Steelers, mayors, Phipps Conservatory, the Pittsburgh Marathon, neighborhoods, and Pittsburgh Dance Alloy.

Robert A. Cummings, Jr., Photographic Prints c. 1950's, AIS.1969.16 Contains
67 photographic prints from the 1950s of the Pittsburgh area. 

John Gates Photograph Collection, ca. 1890-1910, AIS.1991.22 Approximately 224 gelatin dry plate negatives and prints,        c.1890 to c. 1910 depicting Pittsburgh landmarks, family portraits, celebrations, and festivities.

Robert Malay Photograph Collection, 1930-1950, AIS.2004.18 Contains 21 gelatin silver photographic prints taken by an unidentified uncle of the donor depicting floods during 1936 and 1950, a railroad accident, construction on Ohio River Boulevard in 1930, and the Western Penitentiary from the 1930s.

Norman D. Rabinovitz Photograph Collection, 1965-1999, AIS.2010.16  There are approximately 13,940 items found in a variety of formats, including photographic prints, color and black and white negatives, 35mm slides, and manuscript materials documenting Pittsburgh, medical imagery, travel, nature photography, and the work of photographer Roy Stryker.

Pittsburgh City Photographer Collection, 1901-2002, AIS.1971.05  This collection serves as a visual documentation of the construction of streets, bridges, parks, and recreational facilities in the city of Pittsburgh, as taken by members of the Department of Public Works (City Photographer). These views include building, transportation, industry, housing, and peripheral details of the history and development of Pittsburgh from the early 1900s to the early part of the 21st century. Over 14,000 images depicting the evolution of the city of Pittsburgh appear online  documenting life an industrial city.

Pittsburgh Prints from the Collection of Wesley Pickard, ca. 1843-1982, AIS.2006.03 Contains 43 prints, including lithographs, etchings, watercolors, engravings, and periodical illustrations that primarily date between 1843 and 1898, with a few created in the 1970s and early 1980s. Subjects depicted include Pittsburgh landmarks, bridges, downtown buildings, commercial and industrial establishments, and civic institutions.

Paul Slantis Photograph Collection, ca. 1946-1956, AIS.1991.19a  Contains 1,508 4x5 safety negatives and contact prints taken by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette photographer Paul Slantis, documenting people, places, and events in Pittsburgh.

Presbyterian Hospital Photograph Collection,1940-1982, AIS.2007.02 Contains 265 images documenting Presbyterian Hosptial staff in the 1940's taken by Florence Parry. Additional images date between the 1940s and 1982, and document the University of Pittsburgh campus, hospital exam rooms, surgeries and other staff functions.

Smoke Control Lantern Slide Collection, ca. 1940-1950, AIS.1978.22  Contains 119 lantern slides, including duplicate lantern slides and some copy negatives, documenting the City of Pittsburgh in the 1940s and 1950s, before and after smoke control ordinances were passed regulating the burning of coal. 

Walter J. Teskey Photograph Collection, AIS.2010.03 Images of the city of Pittsburgh during the 1930s, with particular focus on the Pittsburgh flood of 1936 (also known as the Great St. Patrick’s Day Flood) and the Ohio River Flood of 1937. Additionally, the collection contains photographs of both model and full-scale trains taken during the 1960s. Digital reproductions of the photos are available online

Union Arcade Building Photographs, 1915-1916, AIS.2005.09 Contains 85 photographs showing the construction of the Henry Clay Frick financed project in Downtown Pittsburgh. It was the fourth of four structures he financed. 

Harry E. Walter Photograph Collection, AIS.1990.18 Contains 113 images taken in the 1940s of Pittsburgh landmarks such as Highland Park, the Schenley Fountain, Phipps Conservatory, Westinghouse Memorial, Spanish American War Memorial, Panther Hollow, as well as general park scenes. Other photographs include the University of Pittsburgh's Cathedral of Learning, Stephen Foster Memorial, and Heinz Chapel.

William Penn Hotel Construction Progress Photograph Collection, 1914-1916, AIS.2008.01 Contains 28 photographs showing the construction of the hotel. It was the third of four structures financed by Henry Clay Frick. The construction of the Union Arcade is also visible in some of the images.