As we near Theodore Roosevelt’s birthday on Oct. 27th, we have ongoing cause for celebration. A project to broaden access to images relating to Roosevelt’s life and times is putting new digital images and descriptions online each week.
Last year, the project brought us illustrations from Puck magazine, including this visual jab at Roosevelt’s positive self image (right).
This year, we have been digitizing images in the Theodore Roosevelt section of the Prints & Photographs Division’s Presidential File—a file in our reading room that provides access to pictures that generally came into the Library one-by-one, rather than in a collection, and that show various aspects of a president’s life.
Already, the online images enable you to see Roosevelt at many stages of his life, as well as members of his family and his cabinet, his many speaking events, his homes, even his horseback riding style. And the quantity and variety will grow as we complete the cataloging, ultimately providing access to more than 1,000 images relating to Roosevelt from the Presidential File alone.
Stereographs (two nearly identical versions of the photograph mounted side-by-side that appear in 3-D when seen through a stereo viewer) provide a multi-dimensional perspective, and this is certainly true of the stereographs we digitized and cataloged also as part of this year’s Theodore Roosevelt effort. The stereos document some of the major events in Roosevelt’s political career, including celebrations in 1899 accompanying Admiral George Dewey’s arrival in New York after the Spanish American War, when Roosevelt was governor of the state, and the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis in 1904.
The expanded access to images of Roosevelt’s life and times reminds us just how event-filled those years were–and how much Roosevelt kept himself in the public eye, year in and year out.
Happy birthday, Mr. President!
- View images from the Theodore Roosevelt section of the Presidential File. (This link will retrieve more images and descriptions as we load more into the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog.)
- Search the stereographs for views of expositions and other events.
- Watch Theodore Roosevelt films from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division collections. Perhaps you’d like to compare how motion footage covered some of the same events that appear in still photographs!
- Visit the Theodore Roosevelt Center at Dickinson State University, which is building a digital library of Theodore Roosevelt-related material.