The Photograph Collection at West Virginia Archives and History includes more than 100,000 images that cover a variety of subjects in the state's history. For example, the collection includes numerous photographs that document the administrations of West Virginia's governors in the last fifty years. The Division of Natural Resources and tourism are also well represented in the Archives' holdings.
In 1984, the Archives initiated a project to copy photographs statewide in collaboration with various groups. The project has taken staff members to over one-half of the state's counties and added thousands of images to the collection. Through this effort to preserve a visual record of the state's past, the Archives has copied photos related to business and industry, education, politics, social and athletic events, and other activities at the state or local level. For further information about this ongoing project, read Archives and History News from June 2001 and Photo Copying Project FAQs.
The database includes only a fraction of these images. The database premiered in April 2002 with the Coal Life Collection, and several other collections have been added since. At present, photographs from the following collections are available in the online database:
NOTE: John Brown, Civil War, and related images that are part of the Boyd B. Stutler Collection may be searched online through the John Brown Database.
New in March 2008!
Now available online are 817 photographs from the Chester Webb Collection, which includes photographs of Civilian Conservation Corps activities in and around Camp White in Pendleton County and views taken in the Huntington and Cabell County area. These photographs primarily represent activities of Chester Webb's brother Kendall V. Webb from the 1920s to 1930s. The Webb family lived in Huntington for a number of years, and K. V. Webb participated in the CCC program during the 1930s. With the addition of the Webb Collection, the total number of images searchable in this database is more than 5,600.
Descriptive information on other photographs will be added over the coming months, but as yet no comprehensive, image-by-image guide to the entire Photograph Collection exists. Those individuals planning to access the collection during a visit to the Archives should make an appointment at least one week in advance.
For further information on the Archives Photograph Collection, contact Debra Basham or Chuck Ocheltree.
Additions and corrections to descriptions of images in the database should be sent to Mary Johnson.
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