An old proverb states that "the eyes are the windows into the soul." A genealogy corollary is that "a photo is a window into the lives of your ancestors."
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 Nevada 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 June, 2020; recently added links are in BOLD)
- Beatty Museum Digital Photos
- Carson City Historic Photos
- Churchill County Museum and Archives Photo Collection
- City of Mesquite - Virgin Valley Heritage Museum - Mesquite
- Classic Las Vegas Galleries
- Death Valley Region Photo Collection
- Eureka County Photos
- Goldfield Photo Gallery
- Henderson City Photographs
- Historic Nevada Photos
- Historic St. Thomas
- Historical Reno Photos
- Huntington Photo Collection - Nevada
- Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
- Lincoln Highway Pictorial Tour
- Mineral County Museum Photo Gallery
- Mountain West Digital Library Collections
- National Archives - Digital Photograph Collections
- Nevada Ancient Faces
- Nevada Dead Fred
- Nevada DOT Historical Image Gallery 1917-1939
- Nevada Mining / Historic Photos
- Nevada Old Family Photos
- Nevada Penny Postcards
- Nevada State Historical Society Photograph Collections
- Nevada State Library Digital Collections
- Nevada State Museum, Las Vegas - Las Vegas
- Nevada Vintage Pictures
- Nevada, DP.LA Photos
- Nevada, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives
- Nevada's Sesquicentennial - Photos
- Online Nevada Encyclopedia
- Pahrump Historic Photos
- Photographs in the Nevada State Archives
- Pictures of Old Nevada - Ghost Towns
- Smithsonian Images
- Tonopah Historic Photos
- University Digital Conservancy
- University of Nevada Reno - Special Collections - Reno
- University of Nevada Reno Libraries' Digital Collections
- University of Nevada, Las Vegas Photography Collection
- UNLV Digital Collections
- Vintage Nevada Photos
- Vintage Nevada Pinterest Photos
- Vintage Reno
- Virgin Valley Heritage Museum - Mesquite
- Virginia City Photos
- Western Nevada Historic Photo Collection
For historical photos from other states as well as articles about photo research, please visit the Photos page.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!
For other Free Nevada Links, click on the category of interest: