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 Vermont 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)
- Bennington Museum - Bennington
- Bolton Historic Photographs
- Brattleboro Historical Society Photo Library
- Burlington Old Photos
- Chester Image Gallery
- Colchester Vintage Photos
- Digital Collections at Middlebury
- Digital Vermont Photographs
- Groton Photos
- Historic Middlebury Photographic Collection
- Historic Vermont Images
- Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
- Manchester Historical Photographs
- Middlebury College Digital Collections
- National Archives - Digital Photograph Collections
- Norwich Historic Street Photographs
- Norwich University Photographs and Postcards
- Penny Postcards from Vermont
- Photographs of Vergennes
- Poultney Under Glass - Glass Plate Negatives 1890-1910
- Richmond Historical Society Photos
- Rockingham Free Public Library Photo Collection
- Rutland Historical Society Gallery
- Rutland Vintage Photos
- Saint Michael’s College Archives
- Shrewsbury Historical Society Photo Collections
- Smithsonian Images
- Stowe Historical Society Image Collections
- Swanton Photo Gallery
- Townshend Historical Society Photo Galleries
- University of Vermont Digital Initiatives
- University of Vermont, Special Collections Photos
- Vermont Ancient Faces
- Vermont Dead Fred Photos
- Vermont Folklife Center - Digital Archive
- Vermont Historical Society Photographs
- Vermont History - Photos
- Vermont in the Civil War Gallery
- Vermont Landscape Change Program
- Vermont Miscellaneous Historical Photos
- Vermont Old Family Photos
- Vermont Technical College Flickr Photo Albums
- Vermont Vintage Photos
- Vermont, DP.LA Photos
- Vermont, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives
- Waitsfield Historical Society Photo Collection
- Warren Historical Society Photos
- Waterbury Historical Society Photos
For historic photos from other states as well as articles about photo research, please visit the Photos page.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!