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The Instrument Photograph Collection has an online catalog that is searchable by image title, caption, instrument type, and year.  More than 90 kinds of instruments and apparatus are represented:

Geomagnetic instruments

Binnacles, Compasses, Deflectors, Dip circles, Earth inductors, Earth-current apparatus, Galvanometers, Geomagnetic instruments (miscellaneous), Magnetographs, Magnetometers, Magnets, Theodolites, Variometers

Other geophysical apparatus

Atmospheric electric instruments (miscellaneous), Conductivity apparatus, Cosmic ray detectors, Dust counters, Field equipment, Furnaces, Gravimeters, High pressure apparatus, Ion counters, Ionization chambers, Ionospheric sounders, Mass spectrometers, Oceanographic instruments, Potential-gradient apparatus, Pyrometers, Seismographs, Seismometers, Thermometers

Atomic and nuclear physics apparatus

Cloud chambers, Cyclotrons, Geiger counters, High voltage apparatus, Particle tracks, Tesla coils, Van de Graaff generators

Electrical instruments and apparatus

Ammeters, Batteries, Commutators, Electrical equipment, Electrometers, Electroscopes, Galvanometers, Generators, High voltage apparatus, Oscillators, Oscillographs, Photoelectric devices, Potentiometers, Radio equipment, Receivers, Tesla coils, Transformers, Transmitters, Van de Graaff generators, Voltmeters, X-ray apparatus

Timekeeping and navigation apparatus

Chronographs, Chronometers, Clock drives, Clocks, Motion recorders, Navigation instruments, Sextants, Theodolites


Buildings and facilities, Foundries, Instruments shops, Laboratories, Observatories, Research vessels

Other subjects

Apparatus (other), Calculators, Control equipment, Drawing instruments, Engines, Exhibitions, Expeditions, Machine tools, Magnetization experiments, Measuring instruments, Microscopes, Miscellanea, Odographs, Radio telescopes, Recorders, Solarimeters, Spectrohelioscopes, Telescopes

Some of the prints and negatives in the collection have been digitized and are represented by thumbnails in the catalog; however, most of the 5000 images have text descriptions only.  Digitization is ongoing.  To request digitized versions of particular images, contact to the archives and provide the image number(s) of interest.