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Byrd Williams Family Photography Collection, 1880-2013 | Manuscripts

By S. Ivie

Collection Overview

Title: Byrd Williams Family Photography Collection, 1880-2013Add to your cart.
ID: 01/AR0769
Extent: 319.0 Boxes
Arrangement: Materials are arranged into nine series. Series 1: Byrd Williams, Sr.,contains photo prints relevant to the first generation of the Byrd Williams family. Series 2: Byrd Williams, Jr., contains photo prints relevant to the second generation. Series 3: Byrd Williams III contains photo prints, negatives and slides relative to the third generation. Series 4: Byrd Williams IV contains photo prints, negatives and slides for the fourth generation. Series 5: Generations contains photo prints relative to multiple generations of the Williams family.  Series 6: Papers contains family records and papers from the early 1900s up to the present day as they are represented by each generation. Series 7: Vintage Prints and Negatives contains photo prints and negatives from earlier periods in the Williams family in addition to photo prints and negatives which could not be designated elsewhere in the collection. Series 8: Publications contains periodicals and published materials where generations of the Byrd Williams family appear, or reflects ownership of stated publications, with primary focus on Byrd Williams III and Byrd Williams IV.  Series 9: Artifacts contains objects spanning the entire history of the Byrd Williams family since the 1880s.
Subjects: Black-and-white photography, Photographs -- 19th century -- United States -- Specimens, Photographs -- 20th century -- United States -- Specimens, Photographs -- 21st century -- United States -- Specimens, Portrait photography

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Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Byrd Williams family photography collection documents four generations of Texas photographers with the earliest images from this collection dating back to the 1880s and with the most recent work coming from Byrd Williams IV.  All four generations of photographers in the Williams family have been known as Byrd Moore Williams.

The Williams family's interest in photography started with Byrd, Sr., in the form of family portrait photography. Byrd Williams, Sr. operated a hardware store in Gainesville which sold cameras. Early prints were developed in a darkroom in the family's home. Byrd, Jr., known as Byrd II, who studied at the University of Texas (1905-1907), worked as an engineer, expanding on the family tradition by incorporating imagery in forms other than portraiture, which included landscapes and city scenery.

Byrd Williams III (1913-1986), continuing the family's legacy, became the first to delve into a full-time photography profession when he opened Byrd Photo in Fort Worth in the 1950s. Prior to this, Byrd Williams III worked for Kodak and several other photography companies in addition to being involved in lense manufacturing. The Williams family photography business also included a portrait studio. Along with these studio portraits, customers could have a photograph painted over in oils, giving it the appearance of a painting - or oil paintings, based on these photographs, would be created by Byrd's wife, Doris Williams. Charles Williams, Byrd's brother, was also affiliated with the company.

Byrd Williams III also explored photography on his own terms as a fine art. Through his images, he documented street scenes and the people of Fort Worth, which was developing rapidly in the mid-20th century.  Many of his black and white images during the 1930s and 1940s are rich narratives of varied subject matter, showing a confidence both in approach to composition and emotive content. With the work of Byrd Williams III, we see photography develop into a unique way of making a personal statement. This is carried on in another way through the work of his son, Byrd Williams IV.

In the photographs of Byrd Williams IV (1951-    ), we see the work of an artist. Mr. Williams, a prolific, exhibiting photographer, who has shown in the United States and abroad, is the first in his family to seriously pursue a career aside from the commercial aspect of photography.  Williams, a Collin County College professor, also shares his ideas and knowledge of photography to show others its purpose and application as a fine art medium.  Fort Worth's Legendary Landmarks is one of many publications in which the work of Byrd Williams IV has appeared.  He is a frequent contributor to D Magazine, in addition to having work appearing in exhibition catalogs such as Ortsbeschreibungen and Focus Trier.

Subject/Index Terms

Administrative Information

Repository: Manuscripts
Access Restrictions: This collection is not restricted.
Use Restrictions: Reproduction and publication of materials in this collection are subject to the policies of the UNT Archives and Rare Books department. Copyright restrictions may apply.
Physical Access Note: Portions of this collection are stored off-site and require a minimum of 24 hour notice prior to use.  Boxes 160-170, 263, 269, 270-271 and 321 are housed in the Research Collections Library.
Acquisition Source: Byrd Williams IV
Preferred Citation: Byrd Williams Family Photography Collection, University of North Texas Special Collections

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:


Series 7: Vintage Prints and NegativesAdd to your cart.
 
Sub-Series 1: Vintage PrintsAdd to your cart.
 
Box 227: Vintage Prints, 3 Boxes, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains 3 boxes of prints with the following titles: "Vintage Prints," "Vintage Black and White/Small Prints" and "Vintage Prints" (clamshell box, with prints mounted on board).
Barcode: 50232
Box 228: Vintage Prints, Boxes 1-4, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50233
Box 229: Vintage Prints, Boxes 5-7, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50234
Box 230: Vintage Prints, Blue Box, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50235
Box 231: Vintage Prints, Brown Box 1-3, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50236
Box 232: Vintage Prints, Byrd Williams III, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50237
Box 233: Black and White Prints, Vintage Snapshots, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50238
Box 234: Color Snaps, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50239
Box 235: Color Snapshots, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains boxes 1-8 of color photo prints.
Barcode: 50240
Box 236: Last Prints from the Lab, Five Inch, Family, Pt. 1, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains boxes 1-5 of 5X7 color prints.
Barcode: 50241
Box 237: Last Prints from the Lab, Five Inch, Family, Pt. 2, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains boxes 6-7 of 5X7 color prints.
Barcode: 50242
Box 238: Miscellaneous 1, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains black and white and color photo prints, negatives and slides.
Barcode: 50243
Box 239: Miscellaneous 2, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains a roll of uncut color photo prints.
Barcode: 50244
Box 240: Polaroids, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains boxes 1-6 of Polaroid images. Photographs in these boxes were originally part of the "Polaroids and Graduate School Separations" designation.
Barcode: 50245
Sub-Series 2: NegativesAdd to your cart.
 
Box 241: 12X20 Negatives, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50246
Box 242: 12X20 Negatives, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50247
Box 243: Byrd Photo, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50248
Box 244: Byrd Photo, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50249
Box 245: Commercial Work, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50381
Box 246: Commercial Work, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50382
Box 247: Commercial Work, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50383
Box 248: Commercial Work, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50384
Box 249: Commercial Work, Byrd Williams IV, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50385
Box 250: N. Negatives 1, 1910-1925, c. 1930-1940Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50386
Box 251: N. Negatives 2, 1895-1925, c. 1920-1960Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50387
Box 252: N. Negatives 3, c. 1930-1955Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50388

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