Libraries & Special Collections > Des Moines Center > Photograph Collections

Photograph Collections (Des Moines Center)

flickr DSM SHSI photo sampler

The audio-visual collection contains Iowa images dating from the 1840's to present day and illustrating a wide range of subject matter which includes businesses, schools, farms, churches, community main streets, landmarks and natural topography, recreational and domestic activities, political and social events. A portrait file, containing photos of notable Iowans and a special file on the city of Des Moines are two special features of the collection.

In addition to traditional black and white prints, the collection contains samples of many photographic formats and processes such as daguerreotypes (the first successful photographic process), tintypes, glass plate and film-based negatives, lantern slides, albumen prints, stereographs, photographic and lithographic postcards, 35mm color slides, motion picture film, and videocassettes.

The audio-visual archives in Des Moines has five major divisions, which can be researched through available collection guides:

  1. General Subject
  2. Des Moines Photographs
  3. Portraits of Iowans Collection
  4. Iowa Cities Collection
  5. Personal & Organizational Collection
  6. Photo Sampler on Flickr
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