- American South
- Civil Rights & Social Justice
- Congressional & Political
- Energy & Natural Resources
- Archives of American Mathematics
- Military History
- News Media History
- Quilt History
- Texas History
- Touring Entertainment
- UT Archives
- Western Americana
- Winedale Historical Collections
The photographic component of the Briscoe Center for American History's resources consists of more than five million images. Situated in the ample research context of the Center's other archival holdings, the photograph collections cover in great depth and diversity such subjects as the cowboy, oil, Mexican American life in Texas, recreation, agriculture, domestic life, architecture, entertainment, business, and politics, as well as important national and international events in the years since 1950, such as the Vietnam war, Watergate, the ongoing Middle East conflicts, and the Civil Rights movement. The foundation of the Center's photographic resources is the Texas Photographs Collection, which contains approximately 750,000 photographic images documenting Texas persons, places, scenes, and events. Important components of this collection include:
- Gov. Dolph and Janey Briscoe Alamo Daguerreotype, 1849, which is the first datable photographic image produced in Texas.
- Print and/or negative archives of prominent Texas commercial and documentary photographers such as Robert Runyon (1912-1949); Harry Annas (1933-1977); Jimmie Dodd (1937-1966); Walter Lawrence Daniel (1916-1968); Russell Lee (1903-1986); Paul Verkin (1900-1945); Joseph Taulman (1851-1941); R. C. Hickman (1945-1970) ; Calvin Littlejohn (1948-1993); and Bob and Marvin Bailey (1932-1989).
- General Photo Files, containing thousands of separate images documenting Texas places, people, buildings, events, and scenes.
The Center also holds one of the largest collections of images by contemporary photojournalists in the world. Included in this actively growing component are the archives of PF Bentley, Dirck Halstead, Shel Hershorn, Cynthia Johnson, David Hume Kennerly, Wally McNamee, Bruce Roberts, Diana Walker, Dick Swanson, and Margaret Sandahl Thomas, whose work is regional, national, and international in coverage. Some of these images, such as the one of Monica Lewinski being embraced by President Clinton and the headshot of Mark Felt (aka "Deep Throat") were not published at the time but were found later in the archives when subsequent events enhanced their historical importance.
Photographic resources are also present as significant portions of the papers of various prominent individuals. Among these are Texas industrialist, developer, and New Deal official Jesse H. Jones; U.S. Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn; entertainer and free-speech advocate John Henry Faulk; civil rights advocates James L. Farmer and Juanita Jewel Shanks Craft; U.S. Senator from Texas Ralph W. Yarborough and Representative Henry B. Gonzalez; and television news anchor Walter Cronkite.
The archives of organizations that also produced or otherwise accrued visual documentation comprise another facet of the Center's photographic holdings. These include the University of Texas at Austin Texas Student Publications Archives, the UT Longhorn Band Records, and the Professional Touring Entertainment Industry Archives.