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Photographs & Photographers

Introduction to the Collection

The Hoover Institution Archives’ extensive photographic collections span the early twentieth century onward, documenting war, peace, and revolution, as well as formal and informal views of the people who witnessed and made history. Many photographic materials acquired before 1992 are listed separately in the Hoover Institution Archives Photograph Card Catalog. Items acquired afterward remain integrated within their collection.

Featured Collections

Laura Rauch Photographs - Photographs depicting American military activities in Afghanistan and Iraq

HOOVER INSTITUTION ARCHIVES PHOTOGRAPH CARD CATALO - Lists many photographs acquired before 1992

AFRICAN PICTORIAL COLLECTION - Depicts daily life and events, 1889–1994

AMERICAN RELIEF ADMINISTRATION RUSSIAN OPERATIONAL RECORDS - US relief agency operating in the Soviet Union, 1921–23

JOHN R. BRUNING COLLECTION - US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan

BERTON W. CRANDALL PHOTOGRAPHS - Stanford campus and the Hoover and Stanford families, 1888–1953


HEINRICH HIMMLER PAPERS - Albums of the SS Reichsführer, 1929–34

EDWARD GEARY LANSDALE PAPERS - Photographs of Vietnam, the Philippines, Japan, and elsewhere, 1944–76

THE MILITANT PHOTOGRAPHIC COLLECTION - Collected by the New York newspaper The Militant to use as illustrations

OVERSEAS WEEKLY PHOTOGRAPHS - Depicts scenes from the Vietnam War and US servicemen in Vietnam

WORLD WAR I PICTORIAL COLLECTION - Photographs, cartoons, and postcards, 1914–20


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We Shot the War Exhibition

Rarely seen photographs take center stage for the Hoover Library & Archives’ 2018 exhibition We Shot the War: Overseas Weekly in Vietnam.  Exploring the interrelationships between art, journalism, and politics, the exhibition features photographs submitted to the Overseas Weekly’s Pacific edition–a military tabloid at once beloved by troops and reviled by the Pentagon for its controversial content. 

The Vietnam War occurred in a period of dramatic political, social, and cultural upheaval. The harrowing images that emerged from this era have shaped public opinion, have left indelible imprints on the American psyche, and continue to rivet viewers today.  This exhibition adds new material to the canon, presenting intimate images of soldiers and civilians taken by photojournalists who immersed themselves in the daily life of the war-torn nation.  The photographs reveal the gritty realism of combat alongside sanguine moments of hope and humanity in fresh and unfamiliar ways, strengthening our understanding of the realities of wartime. These rare photographs—spanning 1966 to 1972—emerge from a vast collection of 20,000 film negatives acquired by the Hoover Archives in 2014. A publication featuring select essays by the Overseas Weekly reporters and photographs from the collection was published by Hoover Press in 2018.