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.
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!
- 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.