Welcome to Dayton History's Digital Archive!

Historic images make up one of Dayton History's most significant collections of artifacts. The fragile, unstable and often degenerative nature of photography means that we are in a race against time to preserve these captured moments before they disappear forever. As a part of Dayton History’s preservation efforts, we have digitized tens of thousands of these historic photographs and negatives. Today, we invite researchers and visitors to view the nearly 50,000 images through the Dayton History Digital Archive. Copies of these images are available for purchase by clicking on the image and selecting the "Request an Image" link.

Tips for Searching

Keyword Search

The Keyword Search button allows you to perform a general search across multiple fields for any catalog records online. Keyword searches use OR as the default connector between words (e.g. a search for Newcom Tavern will return records associated with Newcom OR Tavern). If you want to find records where both keywords are found, type in AND between the two words. To search for a specific phrase, be sure to put the phrase within quotes (e.g. "Newcom Tavern"). You can also use the asterisk (*) as a wildcard (e.g. a search for histor* would come up with records containing history, histories, historical, etc.). Searches are not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

The Advanced Search button can help you be more specific with your search. You can search for a word or phrase within a particular search category or use multiple categories to further narrow down your search results. For example, searching White in the People field will bring up any records associated with a member of the White family, without having to sift through black & white photographs. You can also search People and Creator records through Advanced Search. Phrase searching with quotes and use of wildcards (*) are available in Advanced Search.

Random Images

The Random Images button is a great way to just browse the collection. Each Random Images page displays a random assortment of images from the records online. If something piques your interest, click the thumbnail to view a larger version of the image.

Catalog Searches (Photos)

The Photo catalog button can also help narrow down your search, by only searching the selected catalog. If you only want to search for Photos, click the Photos button and type in your keyword(s) or phrase. You can also browse records within that catalog without performing a search. Phrase searching, wildcards (*) as well as AND/OR statements are available when performing a catalog search.