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Harper Leiper Photographs

Identifier: MSS 0287

Content Description

The collection includes Leiper's negatives as well as many prints from 1945 through 1974. Thus, it reflects a great variety of activity in Houston during its post-World War II boom years, chronicling visually the growth of this city during a highly dynamic period. The negatives include images of Houston architecture, community gatherings, political events, business and commercial development, street scenes, and people at work and play. Among the aerial photos are many views showing the 610 Loop and arterial corridors around the city.

The collection is mostly 4x5 black and white negatives, but also has prints and transparencies. Also included are two 16mm films identified as "1948 Fat Stock Show" and "1952 Traffic".


  • 1945-1974


Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from MSS 0287 Harper Leiper Photographs must be obtained from the Houston History Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical Note

William Harper Leiper came to Houston in 1945 to begin a long and distinguished career as a commercial photographer.

Leiper operated a commercial photography studio in from 1948 to 1974. By 1958 he had established a permanent studio at 2800 W. Dallas. For over forty years, he employed many local photographers, and took photos for Houstonians from all walks of life.

Leiper was very active in the Texas Professional Photographers Association at the state and local levels, holding office and conducting professional seminars.

Leiper was born March 26, 1916 and died October 13, 2000. He spent two years at Rice University, but left after a knee injury ended his football career. He later took journalism courses at UT. Joining the U.S. Army in 1941, Leiper became an X-ray technician, photographer and editor of a service newspaper.


91 Linear Feet (168 boxes) : approximately 25,000 photographs

Language of Materials


Photo Database

HMRC's Photographic Archives Database ( contains a partial inventory of photographs in this collection.

Harper Leiper Photographs
Updates Needed
Matt Richardson
March 4, 2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Houston History Research Center Repository


African American History Research Center
Houston Public Library
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston History Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002