Austin History Center

Crowe Photography Collection

An Inventory of the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Crowe, John P., 1907-2003
Title: Crowe Photography Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1940-1950 circa
Abstract: John P. Crowe was a photographer based in Austin, Texas from the 1940s through the 1970s. 753 black-and-white negatives and corresponding prints and 9 color negatives and transparencies document events and people in Austin during the 1940s.
Identification: AR.2014.035
Quantity: .8 linear feet (762 negatives and 753 prints)
Location: Outer Vault, Inner Vault
Language: The records are in English.
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library 810 Guadalupe, PO BOX 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

John P. "Jay" Crowe (1907-2003) was a photographer based in Austin, Texas from the 1940s through the 1970s. He started his photography career are the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. During World War II he was in the Texas State Guard as photo officer of the 10th regiment. In 1947 he was a photographer for the Game, Fisher and Oyster Commission. The 1948 Austin City Directory lists him as production manager for Wallace Engraving company. By 1950 he and his wife, Hazel, had opened their own photography studio, Crowe Photography. He served for a time as the president of the Professional Photographers of Austin. He later taught at Austin Community College and also filled his time with gardening and clubs, including Austin Optimist Club and Kiwanis.

Scope and Contents

753 black-and-white negatives and corresponding contact prints and 9 color negatives and transparencies document events and people in Austin during the 1940s. All negatives, transparencies and prints are 4x5 inches or smaller.

A wide variety of subjects are documented, but the most common subject is World War II-era military scenes and men. There are many group portraits of men in the Texas Defense Guard (now called the Texas State Guard) which had been revived in 1941 and of which Crowe was a member. Many scenes including men from the Texas Defense Guard are also depicted, including gatherings in offices, men inspecting equipment, and parades. Presumably most of these photographs were taken at Camp Mabry. In addition, there are other World War II-era photographs of men in air force and naval uniform, at recruiting events, and of locations selling war bonds. There are 14 photographs documenting General Wainwright's visit to Austin in 1946.

Beyond the military themed photographs there are many informal portraits and images of people at events. There are several photographs of politicians, especially of W. Lee "Pappy" O'Daniel, including his inauguration and his family. Mayor Tom Miller, Governor Coke Stevenson and the parade after Beauford Jester's gubernatorial inauguration are also depicted. UT students are represented, especially "Goodfellows" and outstanding students from the mid-1940s and some athletes at tennis practice, baseball games, football games and Track and Field events, including the Texas Relays. There are some social clubs depicted, such as the American Legion and members of the Austin Women's Club. Other events depicted include some wedding anniversaries, children's birthday parties, kite festivals and other social gatherings.

The collection did not arrive with any identifications or dates. Some photographs have been identified and dated, many through a 1993 exhibit entitled "Do You Know Me?" in which the general public was invited to identify people in photographs from various AHC collections.


The items were kept in the order they were received and described item-level on a spreadsheet. It is unclear whether the item numbers were assigned by the photographer and his studio or by someone else later on.


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners. Consult repository for more details.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Miller, Tom, 1893-1962.
O'Daniel, W. Lee (Wilbert Lee), 1890-1969.
Stevenson, Coke R. (Coke Robert), 1888-1975.
Wainwright, Jonathan Mayhew, 1883-1953.
Austin (Tex.).
Camp Mabry (Austin, Tex.).
Document Types:
Black and white negatives.
Black and white photographs.
Cellulose nitrate negatives.
Color negatives.

Related Material

AF - Photographers & Photography P3500

AF - Biography - Crowe, John P.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Crowe Photography Collection (AR.2014.035). Austin History Center, Austin Public Library, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #: DO/1972/049

Donation Date: 1972 June 5

Processing Information

Preliminary processing by unknown. Finding aid created and encoded by Nicole Davis/2014.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Photographs, 1940s

See attached spreadsheet for itemized inventory. Prints are located in three boxes on archives shelves in Outer Vault. Negatives are located in the archives negatives drawers in Outer Vault. Nitrate negatives are located in Inner Vault.