The University of North Texas recently purchased the massive photography collection of the Williams family, an old Fort Worth band of fathers and sons who were all photographers and who have been documenting the city and its environs since the late 1800’s, reports the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The collection catalogues major landmarks and moments in Fort Worth throughout the generations, but also includes scenes farther afield, like the Texas-Mexico border, “where Byrd Williams II photographed soldiers fighting with Mexican Revolutionary Gen. Pancho Villa near El Paso in 1915.”
Byrd Williams IV, 62, believes that as much as the collection is a document of Texas, it is also a document of the evolution of photography itself. “Photography was only invented in the 1830s,”says Morgan Gieringer, head of archives and rare books at UNT in Denton. “The Williams collection documents the history of photography as a growing way to capture and document our culture.”
The photographs are on view at the reading room in UNT’s library.