Photo Archives

Photograph from Main Photo Collection

This is the major strength of the Archives. There are an estimated one million images (many in negative format only) of Pasadena and surrounding areas. Individual items are catalogued by subject; photo albums are shelved and described separately. Important early Pasadena photographers, active during the 1880s and 1890s, are particularly well represented. In addition to photograph albums, stereographs, and postcards, the collection contains:

Photograph from the Pasadena Star-News CollectionPasadena Star-News Photo Collection

This collection of several thousand photos was the Star-News’ photo morgue. The majority of the photos date from the 1970s through 1990s, although there are many early Rose Parade and architectural photos. The collection is organized by subject and person.

Airplane photograph from the Main Photo Collection

Main Photo Collection

This collection of loose photographs has tens of thousands of images, with many early views of Pasadena places and people. It is organized by subject, not by date.

Photograph from the Hawkins Collection

J. Allen Hawkins Photo Collection

This is the main body of work of local photographer J. Allen Hawkins who worked in Pasadena from the 1920s through the 1970s. The collection consists of well over 300,000 images and is organized chronologically.

Photograph from the Pasadena City Schools Negatives Collection

Pasadena City Schools Negative Collection

Includes several hundred images, primarily from the 1950s through the 1970s, believed to have been taken for public relations brochures.

Photograph from the Flag Collection

Flag Photo Collection

Consists of approximately 2,000 film and glass negatives taken by Emil P. Groetzinger and his sons, local photographers who operated the Flag Studio from circa 1909 until the 1940s.

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The Great History Freeze

Learn about how we are preserving some of these collections with the Great History Freeze

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Pasadena Digital History Collaboration

View more than 20,000 records from the collections of PMH, the Pasadena Public Library, and Pasadena City College, Shatford Library, and more!