The Brown Collection of Photographs are photographs of Wheeling in the 19th and early 20th century. As one of the most important collections held by the Ohio County Public Library, they are available for viewing by appointment only. Through the support of the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation, they have been converted to electronic format for display. Each of the 94 pictures can be viewed at your leisure on at this site.
The photographs were donated to Ohio County Public Library in 1950 by W.C. Brown, one of the city's first photographers. The pictures were taken by Brown and his father, according to an article in the News-Register. They had been recently restored by George Kossuth.
Picture of W.C. Brown donating the collection
Because the pictures are large (16" x 24"), they have been divided into segments. Most pictures are two separate files that are designed to line up on the browser. Not every picture aligns perfectly. Further, the pictures have been scanned to preserve as much of the artistic quality and style of the original. In many cases, the actual subject of the picture is small in comparison to the hillside, sky, etc. Also be warned, the individual files are only lightly compressed, again to preserve the quality of the original, so load time may be over one minute per page.
The indexes of Brown Photographs are organized by the dates on each picture. The dates may not reflect the actual date the photograph was taken, but it is relative to the subject. In many cases, they are are simply the date a building was started.
We hope you enjoy this spectacular collection of images.
Service provided by the staff of the Ohio County Public Library in partnership with and partially funded by Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation.