Photographs constitute one of the Pikes Peak Library District’s Special Collections’ most valuable resources. Numbering more than 500,000 items, the Photo Archives contains images depicting Colorado Springs, the Pikes Peak Region, Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West, and the Southwest. Collections include a wide variety of formats and processes including glass plate negatives, stereo views, postcards, albumen prints, and cyanotypes, as well as negatives, slides, silver gelatin prints, and born-digital images.
The archives contain excellent study collections of photographs by noted photographers such as William H. Jackson, Laura Gilpin, Timothy O'Sullivan and Myron Wood. Fine art photographs cover a range of subjects, from landscapes and cityscapes to portraits and documentary photographs, dating from the 19th and 20th centuries.
The Stewarts Commercial Photographers collection documents the history of the Pikes Peak region from the 1880s through the 1990s. Highlights of the collection include photographs of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb from 1916 through the 1980s, the construction of the United States Air Force Academy in the early 1960s, aerial photographs from 1960 to the present, and the Pikes Peak Range Riders and Pikes Peak or Bust Rodeo from the 1950s through the 1990s.
Additional historic photographs and images on a variety of regional subjects are available for viewing at the Special Collections Department.
The PPLD Photo Archives is housed in the Special Collections Department in the restored Carnegie Building in downtown Colorado Springs, with access to the building through the Penrose Library.