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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 5: GenerationsAdd to your cart.
 
Box 191: Byrd I, II, Black Portfolio, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains small black and white photo prints on watercolor paper in a portfolio.
Barcode: 50196
Box 192: Byrd I, II, Black Portfolio, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains black and white photo prints in paper sleeves in a portfolio.
Barcode: 50197
Box 193: Byrd I, II, III, Vintage Prints, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains small black and white photo prints mounted and matted on 11X14 boards. Prints are in plastic sleeves.
Barcode: 50198
Box 194: Byrd I, II, IV, Photos, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains 11X17 black and white prints. Prints are in plastic sleeves.
Barcode: 50199
Box 195: Byrd II, III, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains 8X10, 11X14 and 11X17 black and white and color photo prints. Some prints are matted and mounted. Prints are in plastic sleeves. Contains some Byrd Williams IV materials including a photo album, prints and workshop images.
Barcode: 50200
Box 196: Byrd II, III, 1948, 1953Add to your cart.
Contains 8X10, 11X14 and 11X17 black and white and color photo prints. Prints are in plastic sleeves. Some prints are mounted and matted.
Barcode: 50201
Box 197: Byrd II, III, Portraits, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains 11X14, 16X20 and 20X24 black and white and color photo prints. Prints are matted and mounted. Prints are in plastic sleeves.
Barcode: 50202
Box 198: Byrd II, III, IV, Gold Toned Kalitypes, Gold Chloride Pop, Van Dykes, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50203
Box 199: Byrd II, III, IV, Photo Prints, 1910, 1930-1960, 1980-1990Add to your cart.
Contains small black and white photo prints and some 8X10 prints. Prints are in envelopes or in plastic sleeves. Some negatives are included.
Barcode: 50204
Box 200: Byrd II, III, IV, Vintage, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains small black and white and toned photo prints. Prints are matted and mounted to 11X14 board. Prints are in plastic sleeves.
Barcode: 50205
Box 201: Byrd II, IV, Platinum Landscape, Miscellaneous, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains small black and white photo prints mounted and matted. Some prints are mounted to 16X20 board. Prints are in plastic sleeves.
Barcode: 50206
Box 202: Byrd III, IV, Black and White Photo Prints, Color, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50207
Box 203: Byrd III, IV, Black and White Photo Prints, Color, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains 8X10 and 11X14 black and white and color photo prints. Images are mounted on 16X20 and 20X24 board or paper. Gevaluxe velours paper samples are included.
Barcode: 50208
Box 204: Byrd III, IV, Miscellaneous Prints, 1950-1990Add to your cart.
Contains 8X10 black and white and color photo prints. Prints are in plastic sleeves.
Barcode: 50209
Box 205: Byrd III, IV, Photo Prints, Portraits, n.d.Add to your cart.
 
Barcode: 50210
Box 206: Byrd III, IV, Photo Prints on Board, 1968, 1973, 1981Add to your cart.
Contains 8X10 and 11x14 black and white and color photo prints.
Barcode: 50211
Box 207: Byrd III, IV, Vintage Color, Mix B/W, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains black and white and color photo prints. Prints are mounted and matted. Prints are in plastic sleeves. Some prints are in envelopes. Contains various sizes with the largest size at 16X20.
Barcode: 50212
Box 208: Byrd III, IV, Vintage Prints, n.d.Add to your cart.
Contains 3X5, 4X6, 5X7 and 6X8 black and white photo prints. Prints are mounted and matted to 11X14 board. Prints are in plastic sleeves. Contains some images from Byrd Williams, Sr. and Byrd Williams, Jr.
Barcode: 50213

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