Skip to Content

Photographic Materials


The photographic materials held by the University Archives form the most comprehensive collection of historical photographs related to the Hays County region of Texas. In addition to print and digital images, the Archives holds holds approximately 1.5 million negative images dating from the 1930s through the 1990s.

Photograph of Old Main, dated about 1903
The Main Building, circa 1903

Digitizing in progress

With photographic negatives from the University News Service and the San Marcos Daily Record, the Archives holds a treasure-trove of images in an analog format that is essentially inaccessible for use in today's digital world.

In addition to negatives, the University Archives also holds original photographs, starting with some of the earliest images of Old Main when it was known simply as the Main building.  Some of these photographs were kept by the University itself, while others have been given to the Archives by individual donors.  Together, all of the photographic materials help document the story of Texas State University.

In an effort to make these "hidden" images available, we are partnering with Digital and Web Services to make archival photographs easily accessible online.  With 1.5 million negative frames in the collection, this will be a long-term process!  Please bear with us as we work on this project. Also note that these images document history, and understanding historical context helps when analyzing content. 

For more information about the processes involved with creating digital versions of archival materials, please see the Digital Collections News. Posts feature behind-the-scenes views of the digital lab and some of the projects that staff are working on for the University Archives and The Wittliff Collections.

BobcatUpdate: University Digitizes San Marcos Photos

Published on Oct 17, 2017

The first phase of a photo-digitizing project -- aimed at preserving San Marcos history -- is now complete. Bobcat Update`s Veronica Vergara has more on the story. (Photographer: David Baugh)

Thanks to BobcatUpdate's Veronica Vergara and David Baugh for reporting on our grant project!   The FY2017 project, funded by a $25,000 “TexTreasures” grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services and the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, allowed Alkek Library to install two custom-built film negative capture stations to digitize negatives held in the University Archives.  Completion of the first phase of the project - building the capture stations and digitizing the first 6,000 images from the Daily Record - was announced to the public in an October 10 presentation at the San Marcos Public Library.