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Bill Garlow Photographic Negatives Collection (MS-665)

Identifier: MS-665

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of thousands of film negatives documenting a wide variety of topics, people, places, and events in the history of the Miami Valley and (to a lesser extent) throughout the region and state. Most of the negatives are 35mm black and white, though some later ones are in color; a few 120mm negatives are also present in the collection. Garlow captured the images for the Dayton Journal-Herald and Dayton Daily News, but in addition to the photographs featured in the newspapers, the collection also includes shots that were not published. The materials are arranged chronologically.

Series I, Negatives, consists of film negatives dating from 1967-1998. This series is divided into two subseries, based upon their physical housing:

Subseries I-A, Sleeved Cans, consists of film negatives received still coiled up in their original metal film cans. The negatives were carefully unwound, split into strips, and stored in archival quality polyethylene sleeve pages, then placed within three-ring binder boxes. Most of the cans were identified by month and year, and so each “file” in this subseries corresponds to a month and year only. This series currently has very little description available in any form for the individual images. However, the processor indicated that common themes observed during rehousing were speeches/meetings, basketball, football, hockey, accidents and fires, and headshots. Occasionally, additional information/description was also written on the can, and these notes have been included in the description field (e.g., “includes Contest 70”) if present. Most appear to refer to contests, probably images submitted to press photography contests, in which Garlow had much success. One can also referred to “Pres. Ford, Kennedy, and Mondale,” which upon closer inspection included images of Gerald Ford, Ted Kennedy, Walter Mondale, as well as Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. An item of interest noticed in this subseries would be the Kent State University protests (May 1970), though there are no doubt countless others. The negatives in Subseries I-A date from 1967 to 1980, though the bulk date between 1967 and 1972.

Subseries I-B, Envelopes, consists of film negatives received in individually labeled No. 10 envelopes or original Dayton Daily News photo envelopes (also No. 10 size). The negatives remain in these original envelopes, which are usually dated (typically on the flap) with the specific date on which the photographs were taken, which might differ, sometimes significantly, from the date that the photo(s) ran in the newspaper. Some envelopes include both a date and a description of the contents. Though these descriptions have not yet been indexed in the finding aid, they aid greatly in the browsability of this subseries. Items of interest that were noticed by include Blizzard of 1978 (January) and the Lucasville prison riot (April 1993), though again, there are no doubt thousands of notable events documented here. Most if not all of the negatives are 35mm, both black and white and later in color. The negatives in Subseries I-B date from January 1970 to 1998, with the bulk dating from 1973 to 1998.

Series II, Documents, contains a small amount of paper documents mainly relating to Garlow’s work as a newspaper photographer at the Dayton Journal-Herald and Dayton Daily News. For instance, this series includes a few original staff photographer assignment sheets. This series is unprocessed.


  • Creation: 1967 - 1998


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

As a photographer for the Dayton Journal-Herald and later Dayton Daily News, Garlow retained the rights to his photographs. At the time of donating his collection of negatives to Wright State University, Garlow dedicated the intellectual property rights to the public, with attribution.

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

William David Garlow was born about 1945 in Morgantown, West Virginia, but moved to the Dayton area at the age of 3. He attended Vandalia Butler Schools, Kent State University, Sinclair College, and Wright State University.

Garlow joined the Dayton Journal Herald as a staff photographer in 1964. Prior to that time, he worked for the Kent State University Public Information Service while attending Kent State University. After the Journal Herald / Daily News merger in the mid-1980s, Garlow continued working for the Dayton Daily News. He retired about 2006 after more than 40 years as a news photographer in Dayton.

Garlow has won top awards for his photographs from such organizations as the National Press Photographers, Ohio News Photographers Association, Associated Press, and Freedom Foundation. He has served as president of the Miami Valley Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, as well as the Dayton Daily News Employees Association.


18.18 linear feet

Language of Materials



Bill Garlow was an award-winning staff photographer for the Dayton Journal-Herald and later Dayton Daily News for over 40 years, from the mid-1960s to mid-2000s. The collection consists of thousands of film negatives (mostly 35mm), spanning a wide variety of topics, people, places, and events. The materials are arranged chronologically.


The collection is arranged in two series:

  1. Series I: Negatives, 1967-1998
  2. Subseries I-A: Sleeved Cans, 1967-1980
  3. Subseries I-B: Envelopes, 1970-1998
  4. Series II: Documents (unprocessed)

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

A lightbox, digital scanner, and/or magnifying glass will be helpful when reviewing the collection, as it is composed almost entirely of 35mm film negatives.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to Wright State University Libraries’ Special Collections and Archives by Bill Garlow in September 2019.

Existence and Location of Copies

Many of Garlow’s photographs can also be found in MS-458: Dayton Daily News Archive.

Related Materials

MS-458: Dayton Daily News Archive

The Ohio News Photographers Association Collection (SPEC.CGA.ONPA) at Ohio State University Libraries also includes several original photographic prints of Garlow’s award-winning work:

Processing Information

In order to expedite access to researchers, this collection has been minimally rehoused and described. Approximately 2 linear feet of loose negatives and paper items remain unprocessed (May 2021). At this time the collection, the collection can only be searched chronologically (i.e., one must know the date of the event), though a topical index (in electronic form) is anticipated in the future.



Guide to the Bill Garlow Photographic Negatives Collection (MS-665)
Lisa Rickey
2021 May 21
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2022 Sept-Oct: In Sept/Oct 2022, Avery Brock and Lisa Rickey processed a small amount of additional negatives (mostly 1987 and 1994-1998) into the collection.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Wright State University Libraries
Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA