Image Collection

Former president Jimmy Carter gives a speech at the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Memorial Union Theater in March 1994. Madison, Wisconsin.
Former president Jimmy Carter gives a speech at the UW-Madison Union Theater in March 1994.

The Archives maintains over 2,500,000 images relevant to the history of the Madison campus, UW System Administration, UW Extension and the UW Colleges. Images document campus departments, locations, traditions, faculty and alumni, buildings and noteworthy events. The collection also includes images of the Madison and Dane County area, and some from around the state.

The collection includes photo albums and scrapbooks, lantern slides, glass negatives, film negatives, and prints. Key collections include the Photomedia Center Negative Collection, Newsmedia Collection, the Harold Hone, Duane Hopp and William J. Meuer Collections, and a multitude of images collected from campus communications units and staff.

Stop in to research within the image collection. Looking for a particular photo? Please submit all requests for image use or reproductions to the Images & Media Archivist by email or contact the University Archives at 608-262-5629 to make an appointment.

For more information about our image use and reproduction policies, review UW-Madison Archives Photo Permission [PDF].

University Archives Image Collections Online

Check out a few of our locally-hosted collections that include photos and history timelines.

  • The UW Digital Collections Center hosts a selection of photographs from the University Archives in their UW-Madison Collection. Click “Search the collection” to discover over 20,000 photos that document UW campus history including athletics, music, buildings, people and events. We add new images each month!
  • We share historic photos of UW Madison campus buildings with, an online photo-sharing project in partnership with Google.
  • Check out the University Archives Flickr photostream (@UWMadArchives) for image sets that present various campus traditions, events, locations and student life!
  • We’re on Pinterest! Follow us at UWMadArchives.

Additional Resources for Campus Photos

Popcorn vendor on UW campus. #S16046
Popcorn vendor on UW campus. #S16046

Sledding on Bascom Hill, 1950s. #ch05072013
Sledding on Bascom Hill, 1950s. #ch05072013

The soda fountain at the Union was a popular place to congregate! c. 1940-1955. #:S14912
The Union soda fountain was popular! c. 1955. #S14912

An attempt at forming the "W" with their hair? These UW students engage in creative fun, c. 1910. #S14873
Throwing the “W” with their hair? c. 1910. #S14873

A mandolin serenade, c. 1890s. #S08806
A mandolin serenade, c. 1890s. #S08806