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 Wyoming 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 November, 2019; recently added links are in BOLD)
- American Heritage Center Digital Collections
- Buffalo Bill Center of the West Digital Collections
- Campbell County Rockpile Museum Photos
- Casper Photo Memories
- Cheyenne Vintage Photos
- Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation
- Historical Images of Carbon County
- Hot Springs County Museum & Cultural Center Photos
- Indian Peoples of the Northern Great Plains Photos
- Jackson Hole Historical Society and Museum Online Exhibits
- Laramie County Library Digital Photographs
- Laramie Old Photos
- Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
- Museum of the Rockies Photo Archive Online
- National Archives - Digital Photograph Collections
- Old Timey Wyoming Pics
- Park County Photo Archives
- Plains to Peak Collective Photos
- Smithsonian Images
- Sublette County Photographic History
- Sweetwater County Galleries
- University of Wyoming Digital Collections
- Vintage Cheyenne Photos
- Western History - Wyoming Photos
- Wyoming Ancient Faces
- Wyoming Dead Fred
- Wyoming Old Family Photos
- Wyoming Penny Postcards
- Wyoming Photographers Digital Collections
- Wyoming State Archives Photo Collection
- Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office Photo Database
- Wyoming Tales and Trails Photographs
- Wyoming, Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives
- Wyoming, History of the American West, 1860-1920
For historical photos from other states as well as articles about photo research, please visit the Photos page.
Good Luck and Happy Hunting!