American National Red Cross Collection: Newly Digitized Photos

The following is a guest post by Jonathan Eaker, Reference Librarian, Prints & Photographs Division. On May 21, 1881, Clara Barton founded the American National Red Cross to provide relief services during times of war and disaster. In honor of its Founder’s Day, I would like to highlight some newly digitized images from our American […]

May Day Scenes

Welcome to May–a month of sunshine, colorful blooms, and excitement for the summer! When the first of the month, May Day, rolls around, I think of flowers, ribbon poles, and a Renaissance fair vibe. As fortune would have it, I found these ideas encapsulated in a single photograph, below. As I continued browsing the Prints […]

C. M. Bell Studio Collection: Newly Digitized Portraits

“…the great success of Mr. Bell is due to his suavity of manner coupled with high artistic ability, and to the gentlemanly deportment observed by his corps of assistants. The rule is, politeness to everybody.” –Photographic Times and American Photographer, Sept. 1, 1883. From the 1870s until the 1910s, tens of thousands of people in […]

Witness to History: Civil War Photographs

Last month’s offering in this series of posts about documentary and photojournalism collections noted how the Crimean War posed an opportunity—and enormous challenges—to British photographer Roger Fenton. Just six years later, a conflict on American soil, likewise, fueled Mathew Brady’s entrepreneurial ambitions, leading to some of the best known photographic documentation of the Civil War. […]

Caught Our Eyes: It’s Electric!

I am the first to admit that my knowledge of cars is rather limited. And perhaps like me, you thought electric cars were a relatively new phenomenon. Imagine my surprise when I stumbled across the 1919 photograph below of a car being charged! Much to my astonishment, the first practical electric car was invented in […]

Portraits of Nineteenth Century African American Women Activists Newly Available Online

The following is a guest post by Beverly Brannan, Curator of Photography, Prints & Photographs Division. African American women as well as men assumed civic responsibilities in the decades after the Civil War. William Henry Richards (1856-1941) was active in several organizations that promoted civil rights and civil liberties for African Americans at the end […]

Witness to History: Roger Fenton’s Photographs of the Crimean War

The Library’s documentary and photojournalism collections reflect just how regularly photographers in each generation have taken up the challenge of providing a visual record of noteworthy events and scenes of the everyday.  This is the first in a series of blog posts that consider major photojournalism and documentary photo collections in the Prints and Photographs […]