The photograph collection is comprised of over 30,000 images housed in the Fresno County Historical Society Archives. The pictures reflect Fresno County and regional history from the earliest times to the present. The photographs show the growth and development of the Central Valley, its people, agriculture, industries, and communities. These pictures take us on a journey. Through the eyes of Fresnans we witness trips to California’s mountains, their experiences in war and travels not only in America but around the world. The photographs date from the 1870s to the present.
The collection includes photographic images in many formats:
film & glass plate negatives
scrapbooks and albums
The Society’s photography collections are organized into the following categories:
Includes businesses, buildings (including Fresno County Courthouse), churches, disasters, Fresno Fire and Police Departments, districts and neighborhoods, hospitals, landmarks, organizations, parks, theaters, schools, street scenes of Fresno City (1870s-1980s) and other subjects/topics related to the City of Fresno.
The Fresno County Fairs, rabbit drives, the County’s towns and communities (including mountain towns such as Ockenden, Pine Ridge), sheriff’s department, and schools.
Subject headings include: Agriculture (includes images of crops, farm equipment and machinery, packing houses, vineyards, and wineries), Irrigation, Logging Industry, Recreation & Sports, and Counties/Cities/Towns in California.
Ethnic & Cultural Groups
Pioneers & Leaders
The contents of the albums document a wide range of subjects: for example, family snapshots of celebrations and travels, a business recording its building, expansion or employees, or an organization’s pictures of its members and events.
This category contains photographs from:
Professional photographers such as R. W. Riggs and A.W. Peters.
Individuals who collected photographs depicting a broad range of topics or a specific subject (such as logging or agricultural scenes).
Photographs from manuscript collections such as the M. Theo Kearney Collection (images of agriculture, views of Fresno City, people of Fresno County and the Fresno Fire Department Collection.
The Paul Hutchinson glass negative collection of the town of Fowler circa 1914.
Highlights from the Collection