Camera and Locomotive: Two Tracks across the Continent – John Plumbe’s Dream

The following is the first in a series of guest posts by Micah Messenheimer, Assistant Curator of Photography, Prints and Photographs Division. Two defining technologies of nineteenth-century America—railroads and photography—largely developed in parallel and brought about drastic changes to how people understood time and space. Trains bridged considerable distances with great speed; photographs brought past […]

Buildings that No Longer Exist: Photochroms of a Bygone Time

The following is a guest post by Leslie Granillo, a Junior Fellow in the Prints & Photographs Division, Summer 2017 This summer I’ve been lucky enough to work with a wonderful collection of Photochroms. Going through them has been like taking a vacation through Europe, with the added advantage of being able to travel back in […]

Looking to the Sky: Solar Eclipse 2017

“Thousands of residents stood with necks craned and peered wide-eyed through smudged glass as the moon sped between the sun and earth, gradually shutting off the bright morning light. From President Coolidge to the urchins with bundles of papers under their arms, the city marvelled at the awesome but magnificent sight.”  - The Washington Post, […]

American National Red Cross: Pictures in Poland

We recently posted about the newly digitized photographs from the American National Red Cross Collection, sharing an overview and selections from this vibrant and massive resource. I took a personal interest in these newly uploaded images as they represent a great addition to our accessible corpus of images of Poland. Not only does this collection […]

Whistler’s Etching Needle on View in “The Art of Etching: Masterpieces by James McNeill Whistler”

The following is a guest post by Katherine Blood, Curator of Fine Prints, Prints & Photographs Division and Linda Stiber Morenus, Special Assistant to the Director of Scholarly & Educational Programs and longtime paper conservator. Known for his credo “Art for Art’s Sake,” American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) was a virtuoso etcher whose […]

Pictorial Finds Uncovered While Converting a Card Catalog

The following is a joint post by Lara Szypszak and Julie Stoner, Reference Technicians, Prints and Photographs Division. There are many ways to run across fantastic images in Prints and Photographs Division holdings, often in the course of carrying out day-to-day tasks. When digital technology came along in the 1990s, the Prints and Photographs Division […]

Following the Trail of the L’Enfant Plan for Washington, D.C.

 The following is a guest post by Ryan Brubacher, Reference Librarian, Prints & Photographs Division. Ryan joined the reference section in March 2017 As a new arrival to the Library, Washington D.C. and the East Coast in general, there is a lot to take in from all corners as I settle. An overwhelming amount of […]