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Documentary Photography Archive

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The Documentary Photography Archive supports Ohio University and its communities with opportunities for research, education, and creativity by collecting, preserving, and making accessible materials that document the history, content, and techniques of documentary photography.


Peter L. Goss Photograph Collection

Lynn Johnson Collection 

Lloyd E. Moore Photograph Collection

Leonard “Len” Vaughn-Lahman Collection

About the Archive

The Documentary Photography Archive, housed in the Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, focuses on social documentary photography and, particularly, photojournalism. The archive serves as a record of the importance of documentary photography in capturing and preserving elements of history, life, and culture in a given place and time, as well as the human endeavor in producing the photographs. The goal of this archive is to preserve such materials from photographic collections and make them accessible for instruction and research purposes.

While the Documentary Photography Archive offers an exceptional learning opportunity for student photojournalists, visual literacy and visual culture are increasingly significant considerations in University curricula across a wide range of academic disciplines. Thus, this archive offers all OHIO students and researchers the opportunity to see, study, and engage critically with images that have captured both the aesthetic beauty and the human tragedy within society and culture in the modern world.


The Documentary Photography Archive is open to all researchers and provides the widest possible on-site and remote access to its collections for research, education and instruction, creative endeavors, and personal study. The archive promotes and supports the discoverability and study of documentary photography through reference services, classroom instruction, exhibits, and online availability.

Support the Documentary Photography Archive

The Documentary Photography Archive supports all colleges and schools that teach visual and information literacy, but the hundreds of thousands of images that have been donated must be arranged, cataloged, and preserved so that they are discoverable - a timely and labor-intensive process.

Donations to the Lynn Johnson Collection Support Fund make a substantial difference towards the organization, preservation, and use of the Lynn Johnson Collection - the largest collection in the Documentary Photography Archive. Learn more about Lynn Johnson and her work, or other giving opportunities within the Mahn Center and Ohio University Libraries.

Collection Contact

Laura Smith, Photo Archivist, Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries.