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Welcome to Picture This!

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The Picture This blog invites you to share our love of pictures and the stories they can tell.

You’ll see special images that caught our eye and also learn about entire collections as we explore the vast holdings of the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress—more than 14.5 million photos, posters, cartoons, architectural designs, and historical and fine art prints. Examples of visual analysis will open windows into the research potential (and fun!) of looking closely at pictures. Alerts about upcoming exhibitions, public programs, and recent publications of the Library of Congress will shine a light on visual collections. Behind-the-scenes glimpses will show you how collections are prepared and made accessible. And of course, lots of links to the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog will point you towards more fascinating pictures!

To start things off, let’s look back to 1890, when cameras were still relatively rare in everyday life. When photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston brought out her new Kodak camera, it caused quite a sensation. A group of children gathered close around her to peer into the viewfinder and see the world through a camera lens for the first time.

A Kodak Creates a Sensation. Photo by Frances Benjamin Johnston, ca. 1890.

Through Picture This, the staff of the Prints and Photographs Division will give you a chance to see things from different perspectives. We hope you’ll crowd around your computer like those children did for their Kodak moment over a hundred years ago. Please join us for the show!

Bloggers Jeff Bridgers, Kristi Finefield and Barbara Natanson from the Prints & Photographs Division gather around the computer to compare the original Johnston photograph to its modern day digital cousin.

Learn More:

  • Frances Benjamin Johnston was a talented photographer in several fields—photojournalism, portraiture, and architecture. She became one of the first women photographers to achieve national and international recognition. A chronology of her life and career sheds more light on this fascinating woman. Her collection of over 20,000 images is in the Prints and Photographs Division.

Comments (13)

  1. So glad to see P&P in the blogosphere – welcome!

  2. great project – thanks!

  3. I have a feeling this is going to be my new favorite blog! So excited to read about P&P’s wonderful collections!

  4. Yay! Can’t wait to keep up with P&P on the internets!

  5. Love this! Can’t wait to see all the things you’ll show the world through this blog!

  6. This is a really cool idea. I hope you plan on broadcasting updates to twitter. Yes, please do that!


    • Joan,

      Thanks for the comment and enthusiasm! While the Library of Congress does have a Twitter feed, the Prints & Photographs Division does not. For now, you could subscribe to Picture This by RSS or by e-mail to make sure you don’t miss a post!

  7. Kristi, Good article. We have about 24 glass photos my husband’s father took of his family in the early 1900s. We had them developed several years ago and presented the photos to the historical society in Floyd, VA. (We still have the glass negatives.)

  8. Well I’m excited too see what comes about !
    LoL…lolll Could you help with the Sullivan Ballou engraving ?????? & his letter to Sarah ?
    Lol sorry, I don’t expect such but heh…..Now I’m famous as I was first to make a req !!!
    Anyway it will be great too come in an see whats new.

    • Hello Jim,
      Thanks for the great comment! We would be happy to help you with a reference question. Just send us an Ask A Librarian request through this online form and a member of the Prints and Photographs Division will respond. Hope you continue to enjoy the blog!

  9. Welcome to the Blog world! Look 4ward to your phootgraphy.

  10. the site is very good and nice i like it

  11. Your blog is well done and I like it. It is a nice review for me. Keep it up…

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