Martin's Photo Shop, located in downtown Terre Haute on Wabash Avenue
from 1906 - 1976, was recognized as one of the finest portrait and
commercial studios in the region. In 1976, Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Martin
donated approximately 35,000 photographic prints and negatives to
Indiana State University. The collection is a diverse and uniquely
complete pictorial record of Indiana State University from the 1920s to
The Martin photographs document more than 50 years of growth, social activities, institutional events, athletics, and personalities which comprise the history of Indiana State University. The collection contains portraits, formal and informal groups, news and promotional photos, sports photos, campus scenes and architecture, faculty groups, Homecoming and Commencement photos, and a wide variety of candid shots of people and the campus community.
Martin's Photo Shop provided photographic services for the University and the Sycamore yearbook in recording campus events, the University Archives relies heavily upon the historical record contained within the Martin photographs to visually present the history and heritage of Indiana State University and the community it serves. As part of the permanent collection of the University Archives, the Martin Photograph Collection comprises a unique and remarkably complete "family album" for Indiana State University.
Thanks to the hard work and generosity of the Martin family, Indiana State University possesses one of the most comprehensive institutional photograph collections in the country.
Original photographs and negatives are open for research use with advance notice to the archivist.
Requests for high resolution copies for publication must be approved by the University Archivist.
All photographs and negatives are sorted by their original Martin's Photo Shop job number, which is a sequential numbering for every photo shoot they did. The numbering system gives the photographs a mostly chronological order.
Digitized copies from the ISU Archives photographs are available online with Wabash Valley, Visions and Voices. The following link will show all the digitized photos currently online:
The Vigo County Historical Society, Vigo County Public Library, and Indiana Historical Society retain additional, distinct photographs and negatives that do not relate to Indiana State University.