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University Archives Photograph Collection

Identifier: MS-0311

Scope and Contents

This collection, created by Special Collections and University Archives staff, consists of photographs from various campus departments and offices, as well as from university alumni, which document San Diego State University history. The collection includes photographs, negatives, and slides. It is broken into six series: Pre-1931 Photographs, Post-1931 Photographs, Glass Plate Negatives and Lantern Slides, Faculty Photographs and Negatives, Slide Binders, and Negatives and Contact Sheet Binders.

The Pre-1931 Photographs series consists of photos taken of and around the San Diego Normal School, a training facility for elementary school teachers, originally located on Park Boulevard. The series includes photo documentation of many aspects of the San Diego Normal School, including the buildings and campus, faculty, student activities, and athletics, among others.  The series is filed alphabetically by topic.

The Post-1931 Photographs consists of photos taken after the school moved to its current location on Montezuma Mesa in 1931.  The series documents student activities, the physical campus, alumni activities, special events, athletics, and many other events and topics having to do with SDSU's history. The series is filed alphabetically by file heading, and contains file heading abbreviations as follows: ACS--Activities, Student, ACU--Activities, University, AE--Aerial Views, AL--Alumni, AWD--Awards/Presentations, BU--Buildings, CA--Campus Area, CAM--Campus Scenes, CAT--Course Catalog Photographs, CL--Classroom Scenes, COM--Commencement, CON--Construction, CSA--Campus Satellites, DE--Departments/Offices, F/S--Faculty/Staff, PER--Personnel, SO--Student Organizations, SP--Sports, VE--Veterans, YB--Yearbooks.

The Glass Plate Negatives and Lantern Slides consist of a group of thirteen glass plate negatives showing images of the campus laboratory school, as well as numerous glass lantern slides prepared by students for the California Pacific International Exposition at Balboa Park in 1935. They are filed by item number.

The Faculty Photographs and Negatives series consists of headshots taken of various faculty members between 1958 and 1992.  The series is filed alphabetically by faculty member's last name.

The Slide Binders, Negatives and Contact Sheets consists of images occasionally duplicated in earlier series, and document school activities, the physical environment, athletics, faculty, and other special events. They are organized topically.

This collection is currently being digitized. Copy and paste this URL into your browser's address bar to access the digital collection here.


  • Creation: 1898-


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in these materials belong to San Diego State University. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the University Archivist, San Diego State University Library.


41.00 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Accruals and Additions

9999-041, 2012-009, 2015-043

University Archives Photograph Collection
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US