Cole is a county of tremendous geographic and cultural diversity. The Missouri Bicentennial provides an occasion for reflecting upon and increasing understanding of various aspects of the county’s cultural and geographic landscape. The Cole County Bicentennial invites professional and amateur photographers to capture and share unique and meaningful aspects of places in Cole County.

Through the My Cole County 2021 Photograph Project, photographs will be submitted to the State Historical Society of Missouri. They will select photos from all around the state to be in a permanent Missouri Bicentennial selection. Together these images will create a snapshot of the county’s physical and cultural landscape during its Bicentennial that will be available to researchers, teachers and students, and the public for generations to come.


To be considered for the permanent collection, the entries must meet the following guidelines.

Submit a title, photographer name, date, county location, and description, including as much location specific information as possible (i.e. address, intersection, GPS coordinates, etc.).

Photographs should focus on place and/or elements of place in the current geographic boundaries of Cole County. While people may be included in the photograph, they should not be recognizable or the focus of the photograph.

Photographs should be taken in 2018 or 2019.

Photographs may be in color or black and white. They should not be digitally altered beyond standard optimization (i.e. removal of dust, cropping, and reasonable adjustments to exposure, color, and contrast.) Photographs should also be free of watermarks.

The digital photograph must be a minimum of 8 megapixels, 300 dpi, and submitted as either a jpeg, jpeg2000, or tiff file.

Submit the photograph with a Creative Commons license (i.e. CC BY-NC-SA 4.0, which allows the Society and patrons to use the images with attribution and create derivatives.)
Each photographer may submit up to five photographs for the contest.

Your photographs must be received by November 1, 2019, for evaluation.

A committee of State Historical Society of Missouri staff and guest curators from each region throughout the state will make the final selections. Notification of selection will be made by January 31, 2020.

The final two hundred photographs from around the state will be featured in a digital exhibition on the Missouri 2021 website and physically exhibited at the Center for Missouri Studies and other locations throughout the state in 2021.