I love old photos, whether they are portraits of my ancestors or historical photos for the period when they lived. And it is important to a complete research that one attempts to understand the environment that surrounds our ancestors' lives if one wants to truly appreciate what they went through.
So where can they be found? Obviously the best resource is our own photo albums and those that our relatives possess. But what about other resources? Many archives, historical societies, libraries and genealogical societies have collections of old photos. And in the past few years there has been a massive movement towards making these historical photo collections available online. Some have search capabilities where you can actually put in a surname or a location, name of a building or historical event and find what is available.
For the state of Texas what collections are available for you to browse and/or search online? Here is a list of sites to start with. Please feel free to add in the comments other online resources that you might be aware of in the state.
Please be aware that there may be very strict rules regarding downloading or other use of the images that you may find. Copyright and other legal protections may be in force. Make sure that you read the limitations of use for any image that you find in these collections and wish to download and/or copy. It is your responsibility to adhere to the rules for all of these collections.
Please note that links to these sites may change in the future. The author (me) will not be constantly checking and updating these links, so if you find a broken link, please use your favorite search engine to locate the new link.
(Updated December, 2018; recently added links are in BOLD)
- Austin Brush Square Museums Photos
- Austin History Center
- Baylor University - Texas Collection - Photographic Archive
- Beaumont Heritage Society - Beaumont
- Brazoria County Historical Museum Photos
- Comal County Photos
- Corpus Christi Public Libraries Photo Archives
- Dallas Historical Society Photos
- Dallas Public Library - Photo Exhibits Online
- ELCA Region 4 - South Archives - Seguin
- Euless Hidstorical Photos
- Fannin County Museum of History Photos
- Forgotten Texas Vintage Photos
- Fort Worth Public Library Digital Archives
- Freestone County Old Photos
- Garland Landmark Society Photos
- Georgetown Williamson Museum Photos
- Historic Galveston Island Photographs
- Historic Houston Photographs
- Historic Texas Photographs
- Historic Upshur Museum - Gilmer
- History Texas Photos
- Houston Area Photography Archives
- Houston Sloane Gallery Photos
- Kirby-Hill House Museum - Kountze
- Lake Jackson Historical Museum - Lake Jackson
- Lawrence T. Jones III Texas Photographs
- Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
- McKinney Historical Photos
- Museum of South Texas History Photos
- National Archives - Digital Photograph Collections
- Portal to Texas History - Photographs
- Rice University Digital Archive
- Round Rock Historical Photo Collection
- San Antonio Conservation Society Photos
- Smithsonian Images
- SMU Digital Collections
- Texas A&M University Historic images
- Texas Digital Archive Photograph Collection
- Texas Historical Commission Photos
- Texas State Archives Photo Collection
- Texas Tech Photograph Collections
- University of Texas Briscoe History Center Historical Photo Collections
- UTEP Photo Database
- UTSA Photographs
- UTSA Photographs
- Vintage Texas
- West Texas Photographic Archives
- Williamson Museum - Georgetown
For historic photos from other states as well as articles about photo research, please visit the Photos page.
Good luck and Happy Hunting!