Harvard’s History of Photography Timeline offers a view into the history of photography through selected photographs in the University’s libraries, museums, and archives. Harvard holds nearly 10 million photographs that have served as primary source documents for teaching and research in the sciences and humanities since the mid-nineteenth century. The timeline highlights the strengths of Harvard’s collections, which document an encyclopedic range of subjects and include the work of noted nineteenth- and twentieth-century photographers.
All photographs featured in the timeline have catalog records in Harvard’s online visual materials catalog and can be accessed by clicking on an image. While not intended as a comprehensive view of the history of the medium, the History of Photography Timeline will continue to expand through contributions from Harvard curators and collections managers.

Further information about Harvard’s photograph collections can be found in The Directory to Photographs at Harvard. This online guide provides detailed descriptions of holdings in more than 50 repositories throughout the University.
Melissa Banta and Robert Burton

Timeline Designer
Thomas Dodson

Contributing Repositories
Arnold Arboretum
Baker Library
Cabot Library
Fine Arts Library
Fung Library
General Artemas Ward House Museum
Gray Herbarium Archives
Harvard Art Museums
Harvard College Observatory
Harvard University Archives
Harvard-Yenching Library
Houghton Library
Law School Library
Massachusetts General Hospital
Milman Parry Collection
Peabody Museum
Radcliffe College Archives
Schlesinger Library
Harvard Theatre Collection  
Theodore Roosevelt Collection
Tozzer Library