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Amherst College Photograph Collection

Identifier: MA.00289

Scope and Contents

This collection contains photographic images documenting Amherst College student, academic and administrative life and individuals, events, organizations and locations associated with the college. Documentation is particularly rich for annual college events such as commencements and reunions. The collection is comprised primarily of photographic prints but also contains transparencies, negatives, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes.

THIS COLLECTION IS CURRENTLY BEING REPROCESSED, the full collection listing will be made available once reprocessing is complete.


  • circa 1844-2007

Conditions Governing Access

There is no restriction on access to the collection for research use. Particularly fragile originals may be restricted for preservation purposes.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.


40.25 Linear feet (14 records cartons, 24 archives boxes, 3 negatives boxes, 1 pamphlet box, 1 flat box, 9 oversize flat boxes)

Language of Materials



Photographic images documenting Amherst College student, academic and administrative life and individuals, events, organizations and locations associated with the college.


The collection is organized into 9 series:

  1. Series 1: General, 1859-2007
  2. Series 2: Classes, 1860s-2007
  3. Series 3: Commencements, 1861-2007
  4. Series 4: Fraternities, circa 1867-1982
  5. Series 5: Town of Amherst, circa 1845-1970
  6. Series 6: Oversize Biographical Files Photographs, undated
  7. Series 7: Daguerreotypes, ambrotypes, tintypes, circa 1844-1921
  8. Series 8: Color Slides, circa 1962-2002
  9. Series 9: Photographic Negatives, 1896-1962, undated

Processing Information

The material in this collection came from a wide variety of sources over many years, primarily College offices and departments and individual donors, including alumni, faculty, staff and community members. This is an artifical collection created by the college archives & special collections in the 1980s or earlier. In the early 1990s[?] the collection was organized by subject and format and notes on subjects and dates of images were added to individual images, these notes are not always distiguished from original description on the items. In 2019-2021, the collection underwent reprocessing to update folder titles and dates, remove duplicate images and reference photocopies, to return some images to their original collections, to clarify and consolidate the oranization of series 1, to integrate materials that had been set aside during earlier organizational efforts, and to improve the housing and description of film based materials.

  • Photographs Subject Source: Library Of Congress Genre/Form Terms
In Progress
Mariah Leavitt, Preservation Specialist Margaret Dakin, Archives & Special Collections Specialist Jonathan Jackson, AC 2019, Student Intern Kim Gianfrancesco, AC 2011, Student Assistant
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Amherst College Archives and Special Collections Repository

Amherst College Archives & Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
61 Quadrangle Drive
Amherst MA 01002-5000
(413) 542-2299