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Bert Brandt Photographs

Identifier: MSS 0087

Scope and Contents

The bulk of the images in this collection are from Brandt’s commercial work. There are also some images from his work during WWII in Italy and Germany. Another notable part of the collection is his journalistic photo coverage of the Poe Elementary School bombing in Houston in 1959.

Brandt created photo illustrations for several books about Houston and Texas, including GEorge Fuermann's Houston: the Once and Future Cty, 1971. He photographed scenes in the oil fields as well as in the offices of oil and oil-related companies. He also photographed the creation of the Manned Spacecraft Center (later Johnson Space Center) from the moving of dirt to a completed center. These photographs include images of personnel, facilities, and equipment. He also took numerous photos from Southern Pacific Rail, along with other major companies with operations in Houston.

The collection consists of about 200,000 negatives and 15,000 prints in formats ranging from 5x7” to 35mm. About one half of the prints are contact sheets.

In addition to photographs, the collection also contains documents from Brandt’s school days in Wichita, KS, through his college years at Kansas, as well as letters from his time with Acme Wire Photo.


  • 1939-1975

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish or reproduce materials from MSS 0087 Bert Brandt Photographs must be obtained from the Houston Metropolitan Research Center or the appropriate copyright holder.

Biographical Note

Bert Brandt earned a national reputation as a news photographer covering the European Theater of World War II for ACME Wire Photo. He later moved to Houston to establish his own commercial photography business.

Born in Canada, Bert Brandt grew up in Kansas and graduated from the University of Kansas in 1939. He later joined Acme Wire Photo (which became United Press International (UPI)). He became an ACME war correspondent starting in North Africa and following the Army through the European Theater in Italy, France and Germany. He was part of the first wave ashore on D-Day. The first photographer to get pictures onto the wire, Brandt was nominated for a Pulitzer prize for his coverage of D-Day.

In 1953 he left news work and moved to Houston to start a commercial business dealing mostly with advertising and industrial photography. He remained in Houston until his death at the age of 59 on December 10, 1975.


99.5 Linear Feet (205 boxes) : approximately 200,000 negatives and 15,000 prints

Language of Materials


Photo Database

HMRC's Photographic Archives Database ( contains the full inventory of photographs in this collection.

Digitized Materials

Select images from this collection have been digitized and are available on the Houston Public Library Digital Archives at

Bert Brandt Photographs
Matt Richardson, Joel Draut
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Houston Metropolitan Research Center Repository


The African American Library at the Gregory School
1300 Victor Street
Houston, Texas 77019
Houston Metropolitan Research Center
Houston Public Library
550 McKinney St.
Houston, Texas 77002