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     A Guide to Research Resources

Prints and Photographs

3rd Indiana Cavalry
Detachment of the 3rd Indiana Cavalry
From Selected Civil War Photographs 1861-1865
Library of Congress

On this page are links and contact information for some of the largest and best collections of Civil War prints and photographs. Follow the links to learn more about searching these wonderful collections.

Prints & Photographs Reading Room
101 Independence Ave, SE
Madison Building, LM 337
Washington, DC 20540-4730
Ask a librarian

American Memory Collection - Selected Civil War Photographs
The Selected Civil War Photographs Collection contains 1,118 photographs. Most of the images were made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady, and include scenes of military personnel, preparations for battle, and battle after-effects. The collection also includes portraits of both Confederate and Union officers, and a selection of enlisted men.

Civil War Photograph Album, 1861-1865
James Wadsworth Family Papers
An additional two hundred autographed portraits of army and navy officers, politicians, and cultural figures can be seen in the Civil War photograph album, ca. 1861-65. The full album pages are displayed as well as the front and verso of each carte de viste, revealing studio logos, addresses, and other imprint information on the approximately twenty photographers represented in the album.

Civil War Photograph Collection
The online Civil War Photographs provides access to about 7,000 different images made during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and in its immediate aftermath, including images made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady and Alexander Gardner. The images were scanned from the Prints and Photographs Division's collection of original glass plate negatives. In addition, this online offering includes copy negatives made from many of the photographic prints the Division holds. its immediate aftermath, including images made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady and Alexander Gardner.

Brady-Handy Collection
The majority of the Brady-Handy negatives are of Civil War and post-Civil War portraits, with a small collection of Washington views. The online collection includes primarily original glass plate negatives. Many duplicate and copy negatives were not scanned.  These photographs are not included in the Civil War Photograph Collection.

Still Picture Staff
Media Archives Services Division (NWCS)
National Archives & Records Administration
601 Adelphi Road College Park, MD 20740-6001
Telephone: (301) 837-0561 Fax: (301) 837-3621

Pictures of the Civil War
The National Archives Still Picture Branch at College Park, Maryland, serves as the designated repository for official U.S. military photographs taken before 1982.

Note: 1,522 images from the collections of the Still Pictures Branch have been reproduced in War & Conflict: Selected Images from the National Archives 1765-1970, edited by Jonathan Heller (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1990. Copies may be purchased through Abe Books.


Maryland Historical Society
201 West Monument Street
Baltimore, MD 21201-4674
(410) 685-3750
Prints and Photographs:
(410) 685-3750, Ext. 328
Civil War Online Photo Collection

Mystic Seaport
Historic Photography Collection
75 Greenmanville Ave.
P. O. Box 6000, Mystic, CT 06355
Tel: 860-572-5383
Email: Mary Anne Stets, Curator of Photography
Historic Photograph Collection
The Historic Photography Collection is one of the largest maritime photographic archives in North America, containing over 300,000 images from the 1840s to the present. These images span a wide range of commercial and recreational maritime activity, from New England shipbuilding to Arctic exploration.

National Infantry Museum
Building 396 Baltzell Avenue
Ft. Benning, GA 31905-5273

National Museum of Health and Medicine
Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
Walter Reed Medical Center
6900 Georgia Avenue at Elder Street, NW, Building 54
Washington, D.C. 20307
Telephone (202) 782-2200
Established during the Civil War as the Army Medical Museum, this Museum's collections focus particularly on specimens for research in military medicine and surgery, including the history and practice of American medicine. The museum's collections are made available for the education of medical professionals, Department of Defense personnel, historians, and the public through exhibits in the museum, loans to other institutions, and individualized study.

Naval Historical Center
Washington Navy Yard,
901 M Street S.E. Building 108
Washington, D.C. 20374-5060
Telephone (202) 433-2765
Photographic Section
Online Library of Selected Images
This office has a wealth of information on sources of photographs relating to any aspect of U.S. naval history with excellent coverage before 1920.

U.S. Army Field Artillery & Fort Sill Museum
437 Quanah Road
Fort Sill, OK 73503-5100
Telephone (405) 442-5123

U.S. Army Military History Institute
ATTN: Special Collections
Carlisle Barracks, PA 17013
Telephone (717) 245-3434.
Alternate: (717) 245-3197
E-mail Request Form
The institute is known to have the largest collection of Civil War Photographs in the world.  It includes events, camp life, group photographs and individual portraits.  A large number of the original photographs came to the Institute through the Massachusetts Commander of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States (MOLLUS), the Union officer veterans’ organization.  The Civil War photographs are well cataloged and many of the photographs can be access electronically.  A card catalog is available in their online finding aids.

U.S. Army Museum Web Sites

U.S. Cavalry Museum
P.O. Box 2160
Fort Riley, KS 66442
Telephone (913) 239-2737

U.S. Military Academy Library
Special Collections and Archives Division
U.S. Military Academy Library
Jefferson and Cullum Road
West Point, New York 10996-1711
Telephone: (845) 938-3259
Email: 8libarch@usma.edu
Special Collections & Archives
Digital Collection of Photographs
The Archives includes cadet portraits, 20th century photographs of students, staff, and buildings taken by the White Brothers, and some Signal Corps, UPI, and AP photographs. The Special Collections have uncopyrighted photos of cadets and class photos, 1857 to the present, and alumni files.

U.S. Naval Institute
Photo Service
291 Wood Road
Annapolis, MD 21402-5034
Telephone (410) 295-1022
Special Collections:  Civil War
This library has a large collection of naval and maritime photographs. Coverage is of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, Marines, and Air Force. Have U.S. and foreign vessels, individuals, and combat photographs. Collections date from Civil War to present.

University of North Carolina
Prints and Photographs
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Civil War Image Portfolio

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National Archives Researchers

Note: Many of the researchers who work at the DC or College Park branches of the National Archives will also search photos and records at the Library of Congress


See Matthew Brady's Civil War Photograph Collection online!