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United Press International (UPI) Photograph Collection

Identifier: 1980-001-r

Scope and Contents

Originally 120 boxes of more than 48,000 photos from the Los Angeles UPI stock photo office donated in the spring of 1980 to the library.

Covering mainly the 1960s and 1970s there are also photos going back to the 1930s. Each photo is an 8x10 print with attached caption and, in many cases, editorial notes and markings on the photos.


  • Creation: 1915-1980
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1969 - 1977

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

UPI retains the copyright on all photographs. Permission to use photographs must be obtained from United Press International.

Biographical / Historical

United Press International (UPI) is a news agency headquartered in the United States with roots dating back to 1907. Once a mainstay in the newswire service along with Associated Press (AP) and Reuters, it began to decline as afternoon newspapers, its chief client category, began to fail with the rising popularity of television news.

This decline accelerated after the sale of UPI by the founding Scripps family culminating in two bankruptcies.

In the late 1970s, UPI closed down its Los Angeles stock photo office and merged it with the New York office. This move prompted the donation of this collection to keep it from being destroyed.


20 Linear Feet (73 boxes)

Language of Materials



Photographs from the United Press International Los Angeles stock photo office. Coverage is approximately 1930-1978 with the bulk of the photographs 1969-1977.


The collection is organized by subject series and, in some cases, subseries by subject.

IP Rights

UPI retains the intellectual property rights of this collection.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by UPI, Los Angeles Office in 1980.

Related Materials

Portions of this collection are available for viewing as digital images in the Leatherby Libraries Digital Archive and online at Chapman University Digital Commons.

Physical Description

The collection had been forgotten and when it was rediscovered in 1989 it was found to have a great deal of acidification and vermin damage. There are now only 79 boxes remaining of the original 120.

Processing Information

This collection of photographs, though open for research, is still undergoing processing. Please see the individual series for details.


Finding Aid for the United Press International (UPI) Photograph Collection, 1930-1978
Amanda Bowers
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, Leatherby Libraries Repository

Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange CA 92866 USA US