Byrd Williams Family Photography Collection

About the Digital Collection

The digital collection presents photographs and letters selected from the much larger collection of Byrd Williams Family items available in tangible form in the UNT Libraries' Special Collections.

About the Physical Collection

Four generations of photographers – all named Byrd Williams – documented more than 100 years of North Texas history with their work. Now, the UNT Libraries have acquired their collection, consisting of over 10,000 prints and 300,000 negatives. The materials include commercial and studio photography, western landscapes, documentary studies, and fine art photography. Family correspondence, artifacts, and a collection of cameras were also donated by Byrd Williams IV.

History

Byrd Moore Williams owned a hardware store in Gainesville, Texas. He also sold cameras and operated a darkroom in his home. The earliest prints in the collection document the Gainesville area.

Byrd Moore Williams, Jr. (Byrd Williams II) started his photographic career in college at the University of Texas (1905-1907). One of the photos in the collection shows the young Williams in his dorm room, photo prints taped to the walls. Williams II went on to career in engineering, documenting many major projects, including the construction of the San Antonio River walk with his camera.

Byrd Williams III opened a photo service in Fort Worth. The collection contains a large number of studio prints as well as prints documenting the family’s growing interest in artistic photography. Williams III’s collection includes a significant series of prints documenting women at work in Fort Worth during the 1930s.

As a fourth generation photographer, Byrd Williams IV continued in his father’s footsteps—sometimes literally, by shooting images of the same street corners in Fort Worth 40 years later. Williams’s career has included street scenes, portraits of gun crime victims, and televangelists, among other subjects. Williams is currently a photography instructor at Collin County College and a prolific artist, exhibiting locally as well as internationally.

The Byrd Williams Family Collection is valuable for its historic subject matter as well as its artistic merit. The use of photographic processes and techniques unique to each photographer – from mammoth plate negatives to family snapshots – tell the story of the development of photography from a hobby to a career to an artistic pursuit within the Williams family.



At a Glance



Cite This Collection

Here is our suggested citation. Consult an appropriate style guide for conformance to specific guidelines.

Byrd Williams Family Photography Collection in The Portal to Texas History. University of North Texas Libraries. https://texashistory.unt.edu/explore/collections/BYRDW/ accessed December 8, 2022.


Explore Holdings

Start browsing through the holdings of this collection in one of the following ways:

Counties (expand list)

Tarrant County, TX
1,657
Dallas County, TX
233
Bexar County, TX
229
Cooke County, TX
68
Nueces County, TX
50
Collin County, TX
39
El Paso County, TX
36
Travis County, TX
31
Orleans Parish, LA
28
Los Angeles County, CA
20
Harris County, TX
13
Randall County, TX
13
Fulton County, GA
12
Galveston County, TX
11
Cameron County, TX
9
Johnson County, TX
9
Washtenaw County, MI
9
Clark County, NV
8
Potter County, TX
8
Denton County, TX
7
Donley County, TX
6
Hunt County, TX
6
Monterey County, CA
6
Nevada County, CA
6
Atlantic County, NJ
5
Mariposa County, CA
5
Ouray County, CO
5
Palo Pinto County, TX
5
Parker County, TX
5
Washoe County, NV
5
Hopkins County, TX
4
San Juan County, CO
4
Santa Fe County, NM
4
Wise County, TX
4
Cook County, IL
3
Coryell County, TX
3
Dyer County, TN
3
El Paso County, CO
3
Hays County, TX
3
Maricopa County, AZ
3
Philadelphia County, PA
3
Atascosa County, TX
2
Brewster County, TX
2
Cass County, TX
2
Culberson County, TX
2
El Dorado County, CA
2
Otero County, NM
2
Taos County, NM
2
Baldwin County, AL
1
Bell County, TX
1
Bernalillo County, NM
1
Childress County, TX
1
Coconino County, AZ
1
Colorado County, TX
1
Crockett County, TN
1
Erath County, TX
1
Grayson County, TX
1
Hood County, TX
1
Jack County, TX
1
Jeff Davis County, TX
1
Matagorda County, TX
1
Reeves County, TX
1
San Juan County, NM
1
San Saba County, TX
1
Stephens County, OK
1
Taylor County, TX
1
Wayne County, MI
1
Weber County, UT
1
Wharton County, TX
1
Wilbarger County, TX
1

Titles (expand list)

Box 31: 2 1/4 inch to 35mm Negatives
1,537
Box 251: N. Negatives 2, 1895-1925, c. 1920-1960
886
Box 34: Studio Negatives, 1950-1958
883
Box 33: Negatives (1947-1960) to Negatives/Slides (1920-1960)
879
Box 250: N. Negatives 1, 1910-1925, c. 1930-1940
776
Box 32: 120 to Negatives (1940-1960)
741
Box 240: Polaroids
523
Box 252: N. Negatives 3, c. 1930-1955
444
Box 162: 35mm General-Apartment Years
379
Box 230: Vintage Prints, Blue Box, n.d.
337
Box 228: Vintage Prints, Boxes 1-4, n.d.
322
Box 35: Studio Negatives, 1950-1958
302
Box 169: Round Negatives-To Scan
273
Box 151: 8X10 Negatives, Fort Worth
235
Box 98: Landscapes, n.d.
233
Box 152: 8X10 Negatives, Fort Worth
214
Box 164: Color Night Triptychs-Current Projects
196
Box 40: Slides, 35mm Transparency, n.d.
193
Box 150: 8 x 10 Negatives
192
Box 153: 8x10 Negatives, Fort Worth, Documentary
186
Proof: Photographs from Four Generations of a Texas Family
185
Box 188: Slide Cabinet 2, c. 1975-2005
175
Box 227: Vintage Prints, 3 Boxes, n.d.
172
Box 160: 2 1/4 Family-120 General
155
Box 128: Portraits, n.d.
152
Box 12: Cityscapes and Street Portraits, Pt. 1, n.d.
109
Box 158: Landscape - New Mexico
106
Box 249: Commercial Work, Byrd William IV
102
Box 159: New Mexico - Weatherford
91
Box 156: Ft. Worth
73
Box 130: Portraits
59
UNT Special Collections Artifact Photography
56
Box 155: Detail-Ft. Worth
55
Box 171: 4x5 Black and White to 4x5 Color
52
Box 157: Ft. Worth-Landscape
51
Box 9: Album, c. 1930-1940
49
Album, c. 1907-1920
45
Box 247: Commercial Work
41
Album, c. 1900-1920
37
Box 154: Byrd III, Acton-Detail
37
Box 64: Cyanotype, n.d.
36
Box 173: 5x7 Negatives
34
Box 248: Commercial Work
34
Box 4: College Work, Vintage Mounted Prints, n.d.
32
Box 311: Byrd Williams, Sr., Family Album, c. 1880-1900
31
Box 172: 5x7 Negatives
23
Box 1: Albums, Vintage Prints, n.d.
17
Box 41: Slides, 35mm, TV Preachers, Evangelists
17
Box 233: Black and White Prints, Vintage Snapshots, n.d.
16
Box 313: Byrd Williams, Jr., Byrd Williams III and Byrd Williams IV, Memorabilia 1, 1986
12
Box 45: 1984 Portfolio, 1984
12
Album, c. 1886-1902
11
Box 131: Portraits, 1980s
10
Box 193: Byrd I, II, III, Vintage Prints, n.d.
9
Box 16: Fort Worth, Ballet, Interiors, San Antonio, n.d.
7
Box 212: Letters, 1905-1925
7
Box 90: Fort Worth, Mounted Prints, 1981-1987
7
Box 153: 8X10 Negatives, Fort Worth, Documentary, n.d.
6
Box 129: Portraits, n.d.
5
Box 231: Vintage Prints, Brown Box 1-3, n.d.
5
Box 23: Vintage Prints, Ballet, Commercial, c. 1950-1960
5
Box 200: Byrd II, III, IV, Vintage, n.d.
4
Box 244: Byrd Photo, n.d.
4
Box 26: Vintage Studio, n.d.
4
Box 43: 12X20 Contact Prints, n.d.
4
Box 6: Photos, 1919-1920
4
Box 84: Fort Worth, n.d.
4
Box 124: Platinotypes, Paladiotypes, 1980s
3
Box 168: Miscellaneous-Public Events
3
Box 192: Byrd I, II, Black Portfolio, n.d.
3
Box 2: Photos, 1895, 1898, 1906
3
Box 8: Vintage, n.d.
3
Box 30: Women Exhibit, c. 1930-1950
2
Box 38: Studio Negatives, 1950-1958
2
[Photograph of Donovan exiting the stage at a concert]
2
Box 110: Misc., n.d.
1
Box 142: Television Evangelist, n.d.
1
Portraits
1

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