Robert Burns Day: Haggis, Anyone?

“Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face, Great chieftain o’ the pudding-race!” (Robert Burns, Address To A Haggis) I hope you’ve already begun preparing your Burns Supper, because today is Robert Burns Day, and it takes several hours to make a proper haggis! If the prospect of dinner cooked in a sheep’s stomach does not appeal, […]

Chinese New Year Greetings

The following is a guest post by Brett Carnell, Acting Head, Technical Services Section, Prints & Photographs Division. Here’s wishing you a happy Chinese New Year. We usher in the Year of the Dragon with a photo from 100 years ago showing two men toasting the new year in New York’s Chinatown. Running for fifteen […]

A Happy Anniversary: Four Years of Sharing on Flickr

Four years ago today we embarked on an experiment to post photographs from Library of Congress collections on the photosharing site, Flickr.  We had done considerable planning, and we were quite clear on our aims: to share images with a community of picture lovers who may not have known that libraries collect pictures, and to […]

Unbuilt Washington: National Building Museum Exhibit

Can you imagine the D.C. skyline without the familiar obelisk of the Washington Monument? If Peter Force’s 1837 design had been chosen, it could have been a hollowed-out pyramid.  Or what if Memorial Bridge welcomed visitors to the city with looming turrets and towers instead of the low profile it presents today? These possibilities and […]

Words About Pictures: More National Book Festival Visitor Comments

As the previous “Words About Pictures” blog post demonstrated, street scenes can offer considerable matter for interpretation.  Not only do they show exteriors, but they stir thoughts about interiors: what might be going on inside the buildings or the people depicted? Here’s an image that brings interior and exterior together in an interesting way and […]

Winter’s Arrival

We mark winter’s imminent arrival with a cover illustration by Will Hammell for a January 1914 issue of Puck. In the illustration, a cluster of snow-buntings appears to gambol in the wind-blown snow, perhaps inviting the warmly bundled woman to join them in embracing the season. Also known as snowbirds or snowflakes, snow-buntings brave even […]

Amundsen Arrives at South Pole

One hundred years ago, on December 14, 1911, Roald Amundsen and four members of his Norwegian expedition team arrived at the South Pole. Originally, Amundsen intended to be the first to reach the North Pole, but upon learning that Robert Peary and Frederick Cook had already achieved the feat, he made a historic change of […]

New Doors Open for the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection

Thanks to a recent initiative by Library of Congress and National Park Service staff, the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog has grown by nearly 400,000 records. Through a bit of technical wizardry, there is now a record for each digital image in one of our cornerstone collections: the Historic American Buildings Survey/ Historic American Engineering […]

New Resource List: Newspaper Photograph Morgues

  Historic news photographs offer an immediacy and perspective on past events that make them among the most popularly requested items in our collections. The Prints & Photographs Division’s New York World-Telegram & the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection is a case in point.  Consisting of an estimated one million photographs that the newspaper assembled between […]