PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTIONS

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:

  • daguerreotypes

  • ambrotypes

  • tintypes

  • cartes-de-visite

  • cabinet cards

  • cyanotypes

  • film & glass plate negatives

  • panoramas

  • postcards

  • 35mm slides

  • scrapbooks and albums

  • stereographs

 

The Society’s photography collections are organized into the following categories:

Fresno City
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.

Fresno County
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.

General
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.

People
Portrait Files
Ethnic & Cultural Groups
Family Collections
Group portraits
Pioneers & Leaders

Photograph Albums
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.

Collections
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

Fresno County Historical Society 

Located inside Kearney Park 
7160 West Kearney Boulevard 
Fresno, CA 93706

CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC DUE TO COVID-19

Offices Hours:
Tuesday through Friday 

9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

For general inquiries: 

info@valleyhistory.org

t. 559-441-0862

Kearney Mansion Museum & Gallery

CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC DUE TO COVID-19

Weekend Guided Tours held on
Fridays, Saturdays & Sundays at
1:00 PM, 2:00 PM and 3:00 PM. 

Private Group Tours for ten or more are available with advance reservations.

Closed on select holidays and for exhibition installations.

Weekend Guided Tour schedule is subject to change without notice. 

Archives 

Access to the Fresno County Historical Society Archives is available by appointment only. 

CURRENTLY CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC DUE TO COVID-19

Research requests should be emailed to:
archives@valleyhistory.org 
 

Requests may take up to 14 days to process.