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Martin's Photo Shop Photographs

Identifier: uac267
The Martin's Photo Shop Photographs consists of photograph prints and negatives. The images portray a wide range of activities, events, people, and the campus of Indiana State University from the 1920s to the 1970s. The pictures depict student groups, faculty of departments, and sporting events. Recurring special events include the homecoming parades, Founders Day events, graduation ceremonies, Campus Revue and other performances, and school dances and balls. These photographs were regularly used in publications such as the Sycamore yearbook, Statesman newspaper, and university publications such as course catalogs, department brochures, and advertising material. The photographs are accompanied by registers of the photograph job numbers. Each job number is associated with the Martin's title and date of each photograph.


  • Created: 1922-1975


Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open for research use with advance notice to the archivist.

Conditions Governing Use

Requests for high resolution copies for publication must be approved by the University Archivist.


91.50 Linear Feet

99 boxes other_unmapped

Biographical or Historical Information

Martin's Photo Shop, located in downtown Terre Haute on Wabash Avenue from 1906 - 1976, was recognized as one of the finest portrait and commercial studios in the region. In 1976, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Martin donated approximately 35,000 photographic prints and negatives to Indiana State University. The collection is a diverse and uniquely complete pictorial record of Indiana State University from the 1920s to the 1970s. The Martin photographs document more than 50 years of growth, social activities, institutional events, athletics, and personalities which comprise the history of Indiana State University. The collection contains portraits, formal and informal groups, news and promotional photos, sports photos, campus scenes and architecture, faculty groups, Homecoming and Commencement photos, and a wide variety of candid shots of people and the campus community. Martin's Photo Shop provided photographic services for the University and the Sycamore yearbook in recording campus events, the University Archives relies heavily upon the historical record contained within the Martin photographs to visually present the history and heritage of Indiana State University and the community it serves. As part of the permanent collection of the University Archives, the Martin Photograph Collection comprises a unique and remarkably complete "family album" for Indiana State University. Thanks to the hard work and generosity of the Martin family, Indiana State University possesses one of the most comprehensive institutional photograph collections in the country.

Note written by J. Thomas Brown

Arrangement Note

All photographs and negatives are sorted by their original Martin's Photo Shop job number, which is a sequential numbering for every photo shoot the Martins performed. The numbering system gives the photographs a mostly chronological order. 8x10 inch film sheets are separated into a distinct series as well as a number of 4x5 inch large format negatives.  Several negatives have been separated on account of deteroriating conditions.  The third series, Prints and negatives, contains a variety of negative sizes from 35 mm to large format.  Also, the third series does share some job numbers with the other two series so a full review of the three series may be necessary to review all of the images from a particular job.

Existence and Location of Originals

Digitized copies from this collection are available online with Wabash Valley, Visions and Voices. The following link will show all the digitized photos currently online: Martin's Photo Shop photographs on Wabash Valley, Visions and Voices

Related Materials

Additional, distinct images from the Martin's Photo Shop are also held by the Indiana Historical Society, Vigo County Historical Society, and Vigo County Public Library.


Archon Finding Aid Title
Eric Holt
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives Repository

Cunningham Memorial Library
510 N. 6 1/2 Street
Terre Haute 47809- US