Southern Methodist University

Jack Kilby photographs

A Guide to the Collection


Creator: Kilby, Jack St. Clair (1923-2005)
Title: Jack Kilby photographs
Dates: ca. 1900-2005
Abstract: Photographs by engineer Jack St. Clair Kilby. Subjects include cityscapes, landscapes, architecture, people and foreign locations. Kilby was a skilled and creative photographer; many of the images were made with a Hasselblad camera. Also included are photographic pamphlets, awards and materials related to the Dallas Camera Club and the Photographic Society of America. Kilby is best known as the inventor of the integrated circuit for which he won the Nobel Prize and for his work at Texas Instruments.
Accession No: Ag2006.0010 and Ag2006.0010x
Extent: 40 boxes (27 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

[Construction worker on overpass], ca. 1970, by Jack Kilby

[Construction worker on overpass], ca. 1970, by Jack Kilby

Jack St. Clair Kilby (1923-2005) was born in Jefferson City, Missouri, November 8, 1923. While he was a boy, his family moved to Great Bend, Kansas. His father, Hubert S. ("Jack") Kilby, was president of the Kansas Power Company. Young Jack’s penchant for photography and electronics began during his youth in Great Bend. Kilby was influenced by his father’s interest in photography and his career in engineering. While Kilby was in high school, instead of the Kodak snapshot camera found in most households, the family had a medium format 120 film camera and a Kodak Bantam, a small camera for the more advanced photographer. The Kilbys had a darkroom in their home, and young Jack was in the high school camera club and served as photographer for the yearbook. His sister, Jane, remembered, "Jack enjoyed photography a great deal, but after the 1937 blizzard, he became terribly interested in ham radio…He would contact people from all over the place." The severe ice storm had taken out telephone and power lines and blocked roads in the area, so that the only way the senior Mr. Kilby could communicate across the state was through ham radio. Kilby saw this as a decisive moment in his life and mentioned it years later when he received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2000: "My dad’s goal was to do whatever it took to run his business and to help people, but I thought that amateur radio was a fascinating subject. It sparked my interest in electronics, and that’s when I decided that this field was something I wanted to pursue."

In 1941, Kilby enrolled in the school of engineering at the University of Illinois. He eventually worked as photographer for the yearbook there, too. American involvement in World War II interrupted his college career, however, and Kilby entered active duty in the Army in 1943. He took the Bantam camera with him to the China, Burma, India (CBI) theater where he was stationed as an enlisted radio transmitter repair man. While overseas, Kilby made black and white photographs and Kodachrome slides of the base camp, and military and civilian activities in the area. After he was discharged from the Army in December 1945, Kilby returned to the University of Illinois. There was probably little time for photography for the next few years as he finished his degree in electrical engineering, married Barbara Annegers, and joined Centralab, an electronics company in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The idea of miniaturizing electronic circuits piqued Kilby’s interest at Centralab, and he wanted more time to experiment than was afforded him there. His job search led him to begin work at Texas Instruments in Dallas in the spring of 1958. While the TI employees took their "annual mass vacation" during the summer, Kilby, having just joined the company, stayed in Dallas and worked alone on his ideas for electrical circuits, making detailed notes and drawings. His demonstration of the microchip in September is now history.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Kilby made Kodachrome slides of his daughters, Ann and Janet, family trips, and other events in their lives. In 1964, he decided to take up photography in a more serious way, and he began using the best in medium format cameras, the Hasselblad 500C. Kilby printed his own black and white negatives and showed real ingenuity in composing his images, and in manipulating and cropping his prints. Extreme camera angles often gave his images an abstract pattern, sometimes like a geometric grid. Although he made color negatives too, he seldom had them enlarged, probably preferring to make darkroom modifications himself which were not possible for him with color film that required outside processing. As a photographer, the subjects he chose fall into several general categories: urban and street photography, industrial, landscape, and people as well as abstraction and experimentation.

One can speculate on the external influences that might have impacted Kilby’s photography. An avid reader, Kilby subscribed to Camera magazine in the 1960s and 1970s. Removed from mainstream photographic trends in such cities as New York or London, Kilby worked in relative isolation in Dallas, and Camera, a quality international art photography periodical, was an important resource for him. Kilby visited galleries and museums in other cities and purchased books. Over time, he developed his own personal style. Kilby exchanged ideas with other photographers at the Dallas Camera Club and also joined the Photographic Society of America (PSA). He exhibited his prints both locally with the Camera Club and nationally at the PSA photography salons.

Although he kept close ties with TI, in 1970, Kilby took a leave of absence to work as an independent inventor. During his career, Kilby applied for more than 60 patents and worked on a wide variety of designs, many of which eventually became a reality, among them, the digital watch. In 1981, Kilby’s wife, Barbara, died, and with her, it seemed, something of the light in his life was gone. By the mid-1980s Kilby was no longer active in photography. His photographic output in roughly 20 years, however, was prodigious. Creativity was a driving force in his work and in his photography. Jack Kilby died in Dallas June 20, 2005.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Jack Kilby photograph collection consists of approximately 1,000 black and white and color photographs and 18,000 negatives and contact sheets. Also included are early glass plate negatives, 16mm film and Stereo Realist slides probably made by his father Hubert S. Kilby, 35mm color slides ca. 1943-1984 made by both father and son. There are many larger format photographs, mostly black and white and printed by Kilby in his darkroom. In addition, there are miscellaneous manuscripts related to Kilby’s photography and copies of Camera magazine and other photography publications. Series 1 consists of correspondence, photography manuals, and materials related to the Dallas Camera Club and the Photographic Society of America. Series 2 has photographic awards from the Dallas Camera Club and the PSA and Kilby’s light meter. Series three is made up of small Kodak prints (3 ½ x 3 ½-inch) and 2 ¼ x 2 ¼-inch negatives. Series 4 has larger prints, mostly black and white, some mounted and titled exhibit prints in varying sizes. Series 5 consists of negatives, movie film and slides, and Series 6 consists of black and white negatives and contact sheets.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 6 series:
Series 1: Manuscripts and Publications
Series 2: Photographic Awards and Artifacts
Series 3: Color Photographic Prints and Negatives (small)
Series 4: Photographic Prints (larger)
Series 5: Glass Plate Negatives, 120 Film Negatives, Stereo Realist Slides, 16mm Film and 35mm Slides
Series 6: Black and White Negatives and Contact Sheets


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Dallas Camera Club.
Photographic Society of America.
Photographers -- Texas.
Photographic prints.

Related Materials

Jack Kilby Papers, A2006.0032

Texas Instruments Historical Archive, A2005.0025

Anne E. Peterson, Jack Kilby : the eye of genius : photographs by the inventor of the microchip, Dallas: Meadows Museum 2007.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Jack Kilby photographs, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, Ann and Janet Kilby, 2005.

Processing Information

The Kilby photograph collection was sorted by photographic process and size. Manuscripts and most printed materials were separated and moved to the Kilby manuscript collection.

Processed by

Anne E. Peterson and Adrianne Pierce, 2006-2008.

Finding aid written by

Anne E. Peterson with assistance from Adrianne Pierce, 2009.

Encoded by

Lara Corazalla, 2009.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Manuscripts and Publications
8 boxes

This series consists of brochures and entry forms for the Dallas Camera Club and PSA, photography pamphlets and brochures and a few photography catalogues.
1 Salon entry forms, brochures and printing manuals
2 Hasselblad manuals
3 Photography books and pamphlets
4 Photography books and pamphlets
5 International Photo Technik magazine 1970
Camera, 1968 - 1970
6 Camera, 1971 - 1972
7 Camera, 1973 - 1974
8 Camera, 1975 – 1977

Series 2: Photographic Awards and Artifacts
4 boxes

This series contains photography awards and photography equipment.
9 International Newspaper Snapshot Awards, 1969, 1970, 1971
Photographic Society of America (PSA) Progress Medal, 1991
10 Dallas Camera Club Award Trophies, 1969, 1970
11 Photographic equipment (print holder, frames, etc.)
12 Photographic materials (photographic paper boxes and light meter)

Series 3: Color Photographic Prints and Negatives (small)
2 boxes

Small color photographs (3 ½ x 3 ½ inches) in this series are date stamped verso. They are stored with the negatives in envelopes, some marked by subject, and arranged by date and unit (box).
13 February 1966 – July 1967
Unit 1, 1966
Feb. – Construction, Airplane
May – Dallas, Flowers
June – Dallas, Fountain
July – Daughter (Ann), Milwaukee, WI, wife (Barbara)
Aug – Dog (Dutchess), Downtown Dallas
Sept. – Daughter (Janet), Flowers, McAllen
Oct. – State Fair of Texas
Nov. – Cat, Daughter (Janet)
Dec. – Daughter (Ann)
Unit 2, 1966
April – New York, Jamaica
Unit 3, 1966
April – Paul
July – Lake Michigan, Milwaukee, WI
Aug. – Tyler, Texas
Sept. – Padre Island, Texas
Oct. – State Fair of Texas, Texas Instruments
Nov. – Washington, D.C.
Dec. – Christmas
Unit 4, 1967
Jan. – fog on White Rock Lake, Dallas, Texas
April – Turtle Creek, Dallas, Texas, water skiing on lake, ski show
March – MOMA, New York
June – Daughter (Janet)
Feb. – California
Jan./Feb. – White Rock Lake, Dallas, Texas, Dallas Zoo
Unit 5, 1967
May – London, England
Unit 6, 1967
June – Daughters (Ann and Janet), water skiing, children playing football
Unit 7, 1967
July – Mexico
Unit 8, 1968
Jan. – Daughters (Ann and Janet), Jack Kilby
Feb. – Daughter (Janet)
March – New York, Dallas Zoo (envelope marked "State Fair")
April – Turtle Creek
July – Water Skiing
Unit 9, 1968
June – London, England; Leningrad, Russia; Brussels, Belgium
(Some negatives only)
Unit 10, 1968
June – Russia
14 August 1968 - 1980
Unit 11, 1968
Aug. – Padre Island
Sept. – Zoo, Hillcrest High School Stage
Oct. – State Fair
Unit 12, 1969
Jan. – Train
Feb. – Japan
Unit 13, 1974
July – California, Monterrey, Fisherman Way, Yosemite
Unit 14, 1975
July – Pueblos, New Mexico
Sept. – England, Watershed, Dartmoor, Oxford, Port Bridge, London, Upper Slaughter
Unit 15, 1976
April – Portrait, man with hat
Unit 16, 1977
May – Paris, France, England, North of Malvern, Switzerland, Lucerne, Stein on Rhine
Unit 17, 1979
July – Austria, Innsbruck, Rattenberg, Zimmertal, "cable car," Germany, Stein on the Rhine, Royal Castles, Munster, "Castle trip," Switzerland, Berne, Grindelwald, Jung Frau
Unit 17, 1980
New Mexico

Series 4: Photographic Prints (larger)
13 boxes

A group of larger photographs, 8 x 10-inches to 16 x 20-inches, arranged by subject and size.
15 Color prints (larger)
16 Industrial and urban landscapes
17 People
18 Foreign
19 Mounted prints (small)
20 Mounted prints (large) (Oversize)
21 Foreign (Oversize)
22 Architecture and Cityscapes (Oversize)
23 Construction and Industrial (Oversize)
24 Landscapes (Oversize)
25 Line film and Mannequin series (Oversize)
26 People, Children and Family (Oversize)
27 People, Intellectual and Workers (Oversize)

Series 5: Glass Plate Negatives, 120 Film Negatives, Stereo Realist Slides, 16mm Film and 35mm Slides
11 boxes

This series has various film based media, negatives, movie film, and slides.
1 Glass plate negatives
2 120 film negatives
3 16mm film
4 Gold metal storage box (in which film was stored)
5 Stereo Realist slides: Cuernavaca, Mexico - Dec. 4, 1957
Acapulco, Mexico - Dec. 5, 1957
Taxco, Mexico
6 Stereo Realist slides: Girls at amusement park, 1957
Estes Park, Colorado, Aug. 1957
At home, Oct. 1956
7 35mm slides, 1943-1948
8 35mm slides, ca. 1945-1950
9 35mm slides, 1948-1959
10 35mm slides, 1954-1962
11 35mm slides, 1974-1984

Series 6: Black and White Negatives and Contact Sheets
22 numbered binders

This series consists of binders of black and white negatives and is arranged by date.
1. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1969
- Construction, Waiting exhibit print; Construction with Men exhibit print
- Mannequins, Elm Street, Dallas, The Truth (exhibited in January, 1970) exhibit prints
- Building demolition
- Dog, Duchess
- Family, daughter, Ann
- Park (ice-skating)
- State Fair of Texas (Sept./Oct.) (children, rides, musicians)
- Parade (downtown Dallas)
- Musicians in park
- Daughter, Janet, bathing suit
- Children playing baseball
- Family: daughter, Janet and wife, Barbara
- White Rock Lake sailboats
- Painting Texas Stadium
2. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1970
- Boy playing baseball, 1970 Kodak International Newspaper Snapshot Award
- Daughter, Janet (white shirt with black collar) Janet Kilby, Wildflowers exhibit print
- State Fair of Texas (Sept./Oct.) (carnival, rides, children)
- Children, baseball
- Daughter, Janet walking near Grapevine Lake
- Parade, 4th of July
- Barbara Kilby, Pottery exhibit print
- Dog, Duchess’s bath
- Construction/industrial
- People, East Texas (Canton?)
3. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1971
- Park (musician in tree, children swinging, painter, man sleeping in boat) Canoe with shadows Trombone (exhibited in 1971) exhibit prints
- Daughter, Ann portraits, Ann – 1 exhibit print
- White Rock Lake and Spillway
- Industrial, Texas Stadium, Irving (construction began 1967, opened in 1971) Construction Grid-exhibit print
- Dog, Duchess and wife, Barbara
4. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1969
(Corresponds to color box 12)
- Japan (Feb. 1969)
- Landscape out West - Colorado
- carved Indians
- family, wife, Barbara, daughter, Ann
- State Fair of Texas (Sept./Oct.) Gimmie exhibit print
- People, East Texas, (Canton?)
5. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1969 - 1970
- Horses by barn
- Construction/industrial, Man and Cement Block exhibit print
- Turtle Creek
- Construction
- White Rock Lake
- Construction – Trio of Construction Workers, exhibit print
- Giraffe
- Daughter - Ann (white shirt holding glass box)
- Landscape
- Air plane
- Construction (downtown near Adam Hats Building and of LBJ) – Big Rig exhibit print, Dirt Compactor exhibit print, Big Hook exhibit print
- Signs; Elm Street, Dallas (same pawn shop as mannequin series)
- Demolition house; refrigerators
- Washington D.C. (Feb. 1970) - Monument exhibit print
6. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1970
– Europe: Milan?, Italy and Frankfurt, Germany
- Couple, Ente Nazionale Protezione Animali, Italy - exhibit print
- Lotteria di Agnano, Italy exhibit print
- Alfred (exhibited in 1971) Frankfurt? – exhibit print
- Trees
- Cobblestones, Germany, exhibit print
- Windows, building front, exhibit print
- Cross Silhouette, Germany, exhibit print
- Bridge, Germany – exhibit print
- Sweeper, Germany – exhibit print
7. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1970
- Construction
- Abstract water tower exhibit print
- Turtle Creek (women’s portraits in park)
- Construction (industrial, grids) Overpass Grid exhibit print, Construction Pattern exhibit print
- Weathered building
- East Texas people, Canton
- Native Dancer (Native American with headdress) exhibit print
- Victorian house
8. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1970
- White Rock Lake landscape (pier, shore, sailboats) White Rock Lake exhibit print
- Children playing football, White Rock
- Airport
- Mt. Zion Church
- Construction/industrial
- New York, fountain, Fish Market exhibit print, U.N. Visitor exhibit print, Brooklyn Bridge, Staten Island, Museum of Modern Art - Not Yet exhibit print
- Graveyard Visit exhibit print
- State Fair of Texas (Sept./Oct.) (rides, man with monkey)
- Construction – Texas stadium bleachers (construction began 1967, opened in 1971)
Construction - Stadium exhibit print; Bleachers, Texas Stadium exhibit print
9. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1970
- Shoreline, boat, canoe
- Circuit board, electronic prototypes
- Rock quarry
- White Rock Lake, sailboats, horses
- Construction, sky scraper Building Window Grid- exhibit print
- Dallas International Motor Speedway, cars, girl’s legs with car, Speed, exhibit print, 1970
Technician exhibit print, 1970
- East Texas, painting the Prosper water tower, Worker Close-up, exhibit print
- Celina, Texas
10. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, after 1970
- Texas landscape
- Weathered barns, barn door and bed springs
- Football on TV
- Abstract light / sparklers at night
- White Rock Lake, pier
- Blue Angels air show
11. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1970
- Dog eating watermelon
- Quitman, Wood County (between Dallas and Jefferson)
- Horse in pasture
- Hotel Jefferson, East Texas, exhibit print
- Railroad tracks
- Lake landscape
- Oil tanks
- Corn fields and tractor
12. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, 1971
- Jefferson, East Texas, Bull Durham Country exhibit print
- Logging
- Construction
- Star
- White Rock Lake and horses, dated June, 1971
- Park (children playing baseball, Popsicle, exhibited 1971) exhibit print, dated June, 1971
- Building abstractions, dated June, 1971
- Main Place, exhibit print
- Stained glass window, dated June, 1971
- Hand composite negative, dated June, 1971
- Billboard
- Demolished building with man sitting on bricks
- Robert Pierson portraits
13. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, after 1971
- Daughter, Ann at White Rock Lake in boat
- People
- Electronic prototype
- Daughter, Janet with long hair and glasses
- New York City, Guggenheim Museum
- Mexican children and Mexican child with sombrero Boy with Cross exhibit print
14. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1974
(Corresponds to color box 13)
- Cat
- Children playing soccer
- California, San Francisco (Feb. 1974)
- Nude Beach exhibit print
- Yosemite
15. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1974
(Corresponds to color box 13)
- California
- Sailboats
- West – Yosemite and lake shoreline
- Rodeo
- Volleyball and musicians
- West (landscape with mountains)
16. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1975
- Hand with egg
- Plate with egg and toy
- Daughter, Ann
- Children at playground, slide
- Construction
- Shriner’s parade, July 4th
- Construction, line shadows from rebar
17. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1975
- West and New Mexico, July, 1975
- Adobe building
- Cows in field and bales of hay
- Desert, Sand Dunes Distance, exhibit print
- Tractor
- Abandoned Farmhouse exhibit print
- Children working with clay, man working with glass, woman glazing pottery, boy playing guitar
- Boat off shore
- Man in black shirt
- Dilapidated house
- Forest
18. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1975
(Corresponds to color box 14)
- West: New Mexico (July 1975)
19. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1975
(Corresponds to color box 14)
- West: New Mexico, (July 1975)
- Sand Dune with Grass - exhibit prints
- Cowboy - exhibit print
- Jack
20. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1975
(Corresponds to color box 13 and/or 14)
- England, Sept. 1975
- Coastal
- Villages
21. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, ca. 1977
(Negatives from PSA magazine and Dallas Photo Supply catalogue)
(Corresponds to color box 15)
- Europe, May, 1977
- Switzerland – Lucerne, Stein on Rhine
- Paris, France
- Broadsides, Paris - exhibit print
- England
- London Bridge, London – exhibit print
- London Couple, London – exhibit print
22. Kilby Contact Sheets and Negatives, 1980s
- Color negatives of family: Jack, Ann, Janet and grandchildren