Photographic Collection

Rochester is the image center of photography, which makes it understandable as to why we are proud of our historic photographic collection.

The photographic collection in the Municipal Archives provides a strong visual link with Rochester's past. The collection includes over 20,000 glass plates, and safety negatives, 1,200 glass lantern slides, and an additional 40,000 photographic prints. 

Many aspects of the City's development are documented through these photographs, such as the construction of sewer lines and treatment plants, water conduits and reservoirs, bridges, the subway and airport. Not only do these photo's show the development of the infrastructure, but also contain visual information for researchers. Incidental material appears in the photos, such as 1920's aircraft of the newly constructed airport, landscapes of the parks and areas around the reservoirs, construction sites, street scenes at intersections of sewer lines, and also that of laborers and citizens.

The photographs are stored in an atmospherically controlled vault which have been supported by  the New York State Archives and Records Administration grant program, are available for purchase starting at $10.00.

Below are links to some of these materials that have been made available or viewing on-line:

Historical Fire Department Virtual Museum of City Fire Houses & Equipment