Through the Camera Lens:
Views and Clues

Eighth Grade
Student Assignment
Wichita Photo Archives

Step 1 | Step 2 | Step 3 | Resources
Step 1: The Wichita Photo Archives Website

• Locate the Wichita Photo Archives website on your personal computer.

Select from your “Favorites” menu or enter this address:

• Experiment with the search and navigation possibilities.

Each time you search, a range of items will appear in chronological order, oldest first.  These items are called records.

a.  Click on a decade.

b.  Notice that each record consists of a thumbnail image and some information known as metadata.

c.  Practice clicking on the thumbnail image to view an enlargement.  Use the “Back” button to return to the metadata.

d.  Locate and click on the “New Search” link to return to the Search page after each search.

e.  Enter the keyword streetcar (or a word of your choice).  Return to Search Page.

f.  Click on the subject category of your choice.

Step 2: Analyzing and Comparing Photographs

• Locate the Wichita Photo Archives website on your personal computer.
Check your “Favorites” menu or enter this address:

• Go to the Search Page, enter keyword Carleton, and browse the records that appear.

• Talk about the details you see in the photographs with your class.

1.  Look at the buildings.
What details do you see?
What differences and similarities?

2.  Look for vehicles.
Are they in every photograph?  Why?
If we knew about automobile styles could we know when the photographs were taken?

3. Look at the people.
What are they doing?
What are they wearing?
What can we infer from their clothing?

4.  Read the metadata. (Use the “Back” button to access it.)
What information do you find there? 
What inferences can you make?

How would you comment on life in
Wichita as seen in these photographs?


a. Read a summary of a newspaper article in the Tihen Notes and learn more about Carleton School.

Go to Tihen Notes
Click icon.
Finding More Information

Here are two ways to read about Carleton School.


b. Read a short history of Carleton School adapted from A History of Wichita Public School Buildings.

Go to Carleton History
Click icon.

5.  Use the “Back” button repeatedly to go back to the Carleton School photographs in Wichita Photo Archives.

6.  Finish the class discussion with your teacher.
Describe a sequence of events that ties all the photos together. 
What do these photos tell us about change?
What further changes can you imagine?  


Preparation for Step 3:  Click these links and follow the instructions. Use “Back” Button to return to this Student Assignment Page.

How to Search the Tihen Notes for Annotated Newspaper Articles

How to Locate Entire Newspaper Articles

Step 3: Selecting and Interpreting Photographs

Select a topic from the chart below and follow these instructions:

• Locate two or more photographs from the Wichita Photo Archives that illustrate your topic.
• Search the Tihen Notes for articles about your topic. 

Begin with the dates suggested in the chart; use clues in the articles and metadata for other keywords and dates to search.  Information on certain buildings in Wichita may be found in “Then and Now” website at

• Write a summary about the photographs using information you found in your research.


• Select a topic of your own interest from the photographs in the Wichita Photo Archives and search the Tihen Notes for possible articles.

Writing Assignment

Describe what you see in each photo.  Report as many details as you think are important.

Include the titles and dates of the photos.

Conclude with a summary of what you learned about Wichita.

Wichita Eagle
Wichita Beacon
Wichita Eagle-Beacon
Air Capital Logo

1927, 1928


Blackbear, Bosin




Campbell Castle
1913, 1923, 1956
Century II Convention Center

1956, 1961, 1964, 1965, 1967


1968, 1969

Claude Neon Federal Company

1929, 1930, 1944, 1957


Defense Housing, World War II: Planeview (and "Plainview")

1942, 1944, 1945, 1948, 1955


Defense Housing, World War II: Beechwood

1942, 1955


Defense Housing, World War II: Hilltop
1941, 1942, 1944, 1947, 1951
Dymaxion House
1971, 1974
Eaton Hotel  
1886, 1887, 1888, 1891, 1895, 1899, 1900, 1910, 1914, 1919, 1933
Henry J. Allen Residence (designed by Frank Lloyd Wright)
1916, 1918, 1964
1971, 1975, 1976
Howard Darling Residence
1906, 1937, 1953
Joyland (check also for Kiddieland)
1948, 1949, 1951, 1953
Keen Kutter Building (aka Simmons Hardware, Harwi Hardware)
1905, 1906, 1912, 1932, 1936
1904, 1906, 1929
Lincoln Heights Village
1926, 1948, 1949, 1951
Mentholatum Building
1908, 1910, 1916, 1937, 1942
Pizza Hut (does not include early years of business)
1969, 1970, 1972, 1974, 1976, 1980
Rajah Rabbitry
1930, 1931
1929, 1930, 1932, 1934, 1938
U.S.S. Wichita
1935, 1939, 1944, 1945, 1955, 1956, 1960, 1961
1935, 1937, 1939
"Watch Wichita Win" Sign
1912, 1913
1909, 1914
White Castle and Kings-X Restaurants
1925, 1926, 1928, 1929, 1931, 1932, 1933, 1934, 1938
1928, 1934, 1938
Wichita Art Museum
1929, 1934, 1935, 1962, 1963, 1965
1929, 1934, 1935
1976, 1977
Wichita Flag
Wichita Municipal Beach
1923, 1924, 1926, 1927, 1928, 1938, 1939, 1954