A Virtual Video Visit with Prints and Photographs

A visit to the Library of Congress is, I hope, on the bucket list of many Americans, either to tour the galleries and ornately decorated spaces of the Thomas Jefferson Building or to do research in any of our multiple reading rooms and research centers. However, if you can’t come to us, we will come to you – virtually! More than a thousand videos and webcasts on hundreds of topics are available for you to view through the Library of Congress website or YouTube channel, providing online access to worlds of new information.

The staff of the Prints and Photographs Division, myself included, participate in many of these video ventures, as either onscreen participants or as organizers who invite artists and experts to appear on camera to speak about their work. Through these videos, we invite viewers to learn about our collections, to gain new insight into the ways photographs and other works of art on paper can be studied and to hopefully inspire and educate in equal measure.

As an example, I recently spoke briefly about my experiences as a reference librarian and the value of research with visual materials in the Prints and Photographs Division, as seen below. My fellow blogger and Head of Reference in the Prints and Photographs Division, Barbara O. Natanson, shares a few of her favorite items in the collection and speaks about methods of exploring the meaning of an image in the second video below.

Teacher Resource: Conversation with a Reference Librarian in the Prints & Photographs Division
Kristi Finefield, Reference Librarian in the Prints and Photographs Division, shares highlights from her interactions with patrons and the collections. Video duration: 3 minutes.

Watch on YouTube.

 kristi video
Prints and Photographs at the Library of Congress

A conversation about working with visual materials with Barbara O. Natanson, Head of the Reference Section of the Prints and Photographs Division. Video duration: 5 minutes.

Watch on YouTube.

video bon

In the first video below, a conversation about fine prints in our collections delves deeper into these works of art. In the second video, a recent guest speaker at the Library of Congress talks about Witness Trees, which are documented in the Historic American Landscapes Survey, a collection in the Prints and Photographs Division. The third offering is a lecture from visiting photographer Norman McGrath, talking about architectural photography, a strength in our collections boosted by McGrath’s own work.

Asamblea de Artistas Revolucionarios de Oaxaca: Juan Felipe Herrera’s “Automatika” Series

Juan Felipe Herrera, the 2015-2016 Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry at the Library of Congress, discusses graphic art from Asamblea de Artistas Revolucionarios de Oaxaca as well as his own drawing/artist book from his “Automatika” series, with the Prints and Photographs Division’s Curator of Fine Prints Katherine Blood. Video duration: 14 minutes.

Watch on YouTube.

poet laureate
 Washington D.C. Witness Trees

Paul Dolinsky, chief of the Historic American Landscapes Survey for the National Parks Service, discusses Washington’s Witness Trees, trees that have stood witness to historic events. Video duration: 53 minutes.

Watch on YouTube.


 witness tree video
What Makes Architectural Photography Different

Noted architectural photographer Norman McGrath discusses the unique approaches and styles to architectural photography. Video duration: 59 minutes.

Watch on YouTube.

mcgrath video

These are just a few examples of recent video offerings featuring or organized by staff in the Prints and Photographs Division. In our ongoing celebration of American Archives Month, we invite you into our archives and collections through these virtual experiences, and hope you continue the exploration with the links featured below.

Learn More:


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