Searching for prints and photographs in the Texas Digital Archive (TDA)
There are three general ways to search for prints and photographs on the Texas Digital Archive: browsing online finding aids, keyword searching, and the "Explore Archive" button. When searching for prints and photographs, it may be helpful to use a combination of these methods to find images of interest.Browsing online finding aids
Browsing the online finding aids for each collection (when available) can help you to determine what types of images are in a collection. To begin, click the Prints and Photographs Collections icon on the TDA homepage (see Figure 1, below).
The Prints and Photographs Collections landing page provides an overview of the collections. Scroll down the page to learn more about each collection, or choose a collection from the list of internal links at the top of the page (see Figure 2, below).
If an online finding aid has been created for the collection, you will see "Click here to access the online finding aid" (see Figure 3, below). Follow the link for more information about the types of images available for that collection.
Finding aids can also help you identify search terms to use when keyword searching. For example, the online finding aid for the J. R. Hunnicutt Collection lists names of individuals and places that appear in the images within this collection. An example, seen in Figure 4 below, shows a small excerpt from the descriptive guide for the J. R. Hunnicutt Collection which describes several photographs using helpful keywords.
Prints and photographs can be searched by typing in keywords or phrases into the search bar (see Figure 5, below).
Based on the number of results, you may want to consider refining your results to “Photograph” under Type and/or “Image” under Format Group (see Figures 6 and 7, below).
Figure 6. An example of refining search results by type to show photographs.
Figure 7. An example of refining search results by format group to show images.
Please note that refining searches by dates might eliminate relevant results. Many photographs are undated or have imprecise dates (for example, “186-” for a photograph taken in the 1860s).
When doing a keyword search, it helps to use alternate spellings and variations of the keyword or phrase. For example, if you were searching for prints and photographs of the Texas State Capitol, you might search for keyword phrases such as, “Texas State Capitol,” “state capitol,” and “capitol building.”
Explore the Prints and Photographs Collections
The Prints and Photographs Collections can also be browsed and searched using the “Explore Archive” feature. From the TDA homepage, click the EXPLORE ARCHIVE button on the left-hand side of the search toolbar (see Figure 8, below.)
Click the Prints and Photographs Collections icon (see Figure 9, below).
From the landing page displayed in Figure 10 (below), you may conduct a search. This will search within the Prints and Photographs collection only.
To continue exploring the archive, click on a thumbnail to enter that Collection and view its contents, or use the Refine Your Selection options on the left-hand side of the page.
Our Explore Archive guide provides additional help with this tool.