Photographs from the Missouri State Archives on Missouri Digital Heritage

The Missouri State Archives houses approximately 808,500 photographs documenting Missouri's state and local governments, history, culture, agriculture, recreation, industry and events from the 19th century to the present. The collections below reflect the photographs and postcards available online from the Archives through Missouri Digital Heritage.

A group of students pose with their teacher in front of their one-room school. 

Missouri Memories:  A History in Photographs, 55 images

"Missouri Memories" is a digital version of an exhibit of photographs on display throughout the Secretary of State's office building in Jefferson City. It is compiled of images from many of the State Archives' photograph collections. Each floor in the building has a different theme. The collection can be viewed at

State Agency Collections


Columns, University of Missouri campus, n.d.
Columns, University of Missouri
campus, n.d.

RG005 Office of Secretary of State Publications Division Non-Portrait Collection, 1,054 images, mid-1930s-present

This collection is comprised of photographs that document government buildings, historic sites and state institutions originally considered for, or published in, the Official Manual of the State of Missouri, better known as the Blue Book. This collection, The Historic "Blue Book" Photograph Collection, can be viewed at



RG103 Department of Conservation Photograph Collection, 4,525 images, 1903-1995

This collection is comprised of photographs of Missouri's wildlife, plants, and conservation efforts. The bulk of images cover the 1950s, 1960s and 1990s. The collection can be viewed at

Three men release two animals back into the wild.

RG104 Division of Tourism Photograph Collection, 12,065 images, 1967-1989

The Division of Tourism is part of Missouri's Department of Economic Development. The photographs in this collection consist of digitized color 35mm slides that depict a wide range of scenery, cities, towns, people, attractions, and activities that appeal to tourists. The collection can be viewed at

Capitol Construction, April 15, 1915.
Capitol Construction, April 15, 1915

RG395 Capitol Construction Commission, 130 images, 1911-1924

Missouri's fifth capitol building, the second in Jefferson City, was struck by lightning and burned to the ground February 5, 1911. The Capitol Construction Commission was created to organize the building for the current statehouse. Thomas Cooper, a Jefferson City photographer, was in charge of photographing all stages of construction for this new building, from the foundation work to the capping of the dome. The collection can be viewed at


Two women stand on car in flooded street
Two women stand on car in flooded
street, n.d.

RG650 Little River Drainage District, 3,078 images, 1909-1940s

The Little River Drainage District collection carefully documents the construction of the Headwater Diversion Channel and levee, the five parallel floodway ditches, and hundreds of miles of additional ditches intended to drain the swampland in Southeast Missouri and convert it to agricultural land. While the majority of prints record the construction, floods and overflows, particularly the 1937 Mississippi River flood, are also included. The collection can be viewed at

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Manuscript Collections


Harry S Truman and Winston Churchill in a car during a rally.
President Harry S Truman and Winston
Churchill in Fulton, Mo., 1946

MS192 Gerald Massie Photograph Collection, 3,722 images, 1904-1994

This collection contains Massie's work while living in Kansas City in the 1930s, employed with Commerce and Industrial Development Division from the 1940s through 1970s, and his work with the Missouri State Museum in the 1970s . As state photographer, Massie was in charge of developing the visual concepts for Missouri's regional booklets and tourist advertising. This collection depicts Missouri scenery, industry, agriculture and recreation, as well as special events, such as Sir Winston Churchill's visit to Westminster College in Fulton. This collection can be viewed at


Benny Goodman playing clarinet, 1942
Benny Goodman playing clarinet, 1942

MS262 Camp Crowder Photograph Collection, 221 images, 61 newspaper clippings, 1942-1946

The collection consists of photographs and newspaper clippings detailing events in the World War II-era Army base located near Neosho. Highlights include portraits of then-Senator Harry S. Truman, Benny Goodman, Missouri colonels and generals and Hollywood film stars. Other photographs depict aspects of camp life, the predominantly German POWs at work, and activities within the Neosho community. This collection can be viewed at


Kansas City Urban League Training Class, 1931
Kansas City Urban League Training
Class, 1931

MS278 Urban League of Kansas City Photograph Collection, 89 images, 1922-1946

The Urban League for Negroes of Kansas City was founded in 1919 as a social service agency to address the challenges facing black immigrant workers and black soldiers returning from World War I. It continues today as the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Inc. This collection of black and white photographs depicts people and activities related to the League during its early years. The collection can be viewed at


General view from east hillside, 1931

Overhead view from east hillside, 1931

MS285 Bagnell Dam Construction Photograph Collection, 819 images, 1929-1953

This photograph collection contains aerial and ground-level views of all phases of the Bagnell Dam construction project. The dam was built by the Union Electric Light and Power Company of St. Louis (now AmerenUE) between 1929 and 1931. The collection also documents the workers, the buildings erected for housing and other views of areas around the dam site. This collection can be viewed at

Great Mississippi Ice Gorge, St. Louis, Mo., ca. 1910
Great Mississippi Ice Gorge, St. Louis,
Mo., c1910

MS294 Mary Alice Hansen Postcard Collection, 209 postcards, 1880-1915

Mary Alice Hansen was a Minnesota postcard collector who traveled extensively throughout Missouri. The images document Missouri buildings, industry and culture from the early 20th century and include Springfield, St. Louis and St. Charles, and many of Missouri's smaller communities. For instance, one can view the 1912 high school graduation class in Wellsville or a bustling downtown scene of Monett. This collection can be viewed at


Two men and a river diver, n.d.
Two men and a river diver, n.d.

MS330 Charles Elliott Gill Photograph Collection, 859 images, 1860-1997

Charles Elliott Gill was one of the countless amateur photographers who emerged in the 1880s with the introduction of easily operated cameras and manufactured glass plate negatives. Gill was born and raised on a farm in Dent County where, despite his love of travel, he always returned. His photographs document his travels to both coasts of the United States and illustrate how the Ozark region was affected by the passage of time. This collection can be viewed at

Fiesta dancer, n.d.
Fiesta dancer, 1953

MS336 Louise and Omar Putman Collection, 825 images, 1906-1969

The collection comprises portraits, agricultural and industrial scenes and images documenting Kansas and Missouri's cultural heritage. The Putmans' photographs often capture the unique shapes of water towers, barns and silos against the rural landscape. This collection can be viewed at


 A drawn postcard of the view down the railroad tracks on High St.

Historic Postcards of Jefferson City, 298 images, 1898-1960

This is a collection of Jefferson City postcards combined from three separate manuscript collections at the Archives:  MS360 Dr. Arnold G. Parks Jefferson City Postcard Collection, MS329 Alice Fast Postcard Collection, and MS369 Bob Priddy Collection. Images include government buildings, street scenes, stores, banks, courthouses, schools and colleges, and residences. The collection can be viewed at

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Digital reproductions of photographs from these collections can be provided at cost by contacting the Missouri State Archives at 573-751-3280,, or by mail at Missouri State Archives, P.O. Box 1747, Jefferson City, MO 65102.