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The Photography Collections contain more than 2 million photographs documenting the history and evolution of photography from its beginnings to the present day. Our holdings include all different formats, processes, techniques, genres, and movements of photography, which help to show the development and impact of the medium. Works include photography that has influenced public thought or legislation such as Lewis Hine's photographs of child labor and the mining photographs (1870-1895) of George Bretz.
The photographs also illustrate the development of the aesthetic principles of photography. Works by Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Judy Dater, Diane Arbus, Roland Freeman, Ralph Gibson, Minor White, and hundreds of other artists are represented. Our collections are also strong in regional photography, with many historical images of Baltimore and Maryland and images by Maryland-based photographers. We are adding digitized images to the Digital Collections.
In addition to images, our holdings of equipment and apparatus reveal the progression of the technology of the photographic medium. Our archival holdings in photography provide researchers with rich resources to further study a particular artist. Additionally, we have a thorough and growing collection of photography books in The Edward L. Bafford Photographic Book Collection. Our collections also include tens of thousands of University Photographs which document the growth of campus, student life, and faculty and staff that have contributed to UMBC since the groundbreaking in 1965.
Search tip: Under "Content to search," check off the box next to Photos. Then enter your search terms. You can search by collection, creator (e.g. photographer), title, subjects, format, description, location, and accession number. When searching by name, use quotes and Last name, First Name. Please use quotes for phrases. Use AND if you want both words. Ex: "Hine, Lewis"; Ex: "coal miners"; Ex: Robert AND Frank. If there is a digital version, your results will have a link to the digital image.
A browsing index to the photography holdings in Special Collections with links to records and to images in the Digital Collections.
UMBC Digital Collections are composed of selected materials from the Albin O. Kuhn Library & Gallery of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). Currently, the majority of the digital collections draw upon the rich and unique holdings of the Special Collections and Archives. Items cover a broad range of topics and include photographs, the Retriever Weekly newspaper, electronic theses and dissertations from UMBC candidates, Theatre Department programs, posters, playbills, and other ephemera. See Digital Collections
Search tip: Use the Special Collections Search and enter University Photographs as the "Collection title" to limit your search to the University Photographs. Box level records are available through the Special Collections Search, as well as item-level records for any digitized photos. If you would only like to browse our digitized photographs, please use the Digital Collections search.
The Bafford Collection holdings include books and serials on the history and development of photography as an aesthetic medium with a special emphasis on photography as a social force.
Collections of the personal papers of photographers held at UMBC:
Jule Eisenbud collection on Ted Serios and thoughtographic photography, Collection 23
The Eisenbud collection, originating mainly from the 1960s during the years of Eisenbud's experimentation on renowned psychic photographer Ted Serios, provide an introduction to the psychic phenomenon 'thoughtography'. This collection contains thousands of photographs documenting Eisenbud's research and evidence of thoughtography.
Mildred Grossman papers, Collection 6
The papers of Mildred Grossman cover her active and dedicated life. Included within the collection are photographs, both professional and personal, correspondence between friends and clients, diaries, daybooks, financial, medical, and legal documents. The photographs in this collection include a selection related to the Hotel Trades Council's exhibit "Portrait of a Union" and hundreds of personal photographs. Grossman's professional photographs have been removed and are housed with UMBC's Photography Collections.
Jaromir Stephany papers, University Archives, Collection 104
The Jaromir Stephany papers contain records relating to Stephany's work as a photographer and educator, as well as his personal papers. Included in this collection are professional and personal correspondence, teaching materials, personal photographs, genealogical records, and files from Stephany's exhibitions. There are also personal writings, interviews of Stephany, and audio-recordings of lectures by other photographers.
Mark Rice papers, Collection 41
Jacob Riis letter, Collection 42
Baltimore Camera Club records, Collection 46
Leonardo J. Sirios papers, Collection 101
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Glee Club collection, The Photography Collections, Collection 147
Grancel Fitz papers, Collection 200
Edward Bafford recordings, Collection 206