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Category: Visual literacy

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

A House Hunt: Which Members of Congress Are Shown in this Panoramic Photo?

Posted by: Barbara Orbach Natanson

Many pictures come into Prints and Photographs Division collections with little or no identification on them. It’s not entirely surprising, since a portion of our collections were generated or collected by individuals who readily knew the who, what, where and when that depictions can evoke and didn’t feel compelled to write it down. But even …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Double Take: Detecting a Daredevil

Posted by: Kristi Finefield

The latest entry in the Double Take series owes its existence to serendipity. Accidental discovery is alive and well in our online collections, and it’s easy to find one thing when looking for another. While working on a reference question about a building on 9th Street N.W. in Washington, D.C. and browsing through older photos …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Political Posters: An Evolving Campaign Tool

Posted by: Lara Szypszak

The following is an interview featuring Jan Grenci, Reference Specialist – Posters, Prints and Photographs Division. Many may ask if campaign posters make a difference in political elections. Some of us will stick a sign in our lawn, and others may simply see posters hung in storefront windows. With another election upon us, I turned …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Absorbing Details in the Classroom: Photographs of Schoolroom Interiors

Posted by: Barbara Orbach Natanson

The semester is well underway in many U.S. schools and, by now, one would expect their classrooms to have acquired what my family referred to as the “lived-in look.” One of my favorite photo detail explorations is to peer closely at classrooms—particularly what appears at students’ seats, on the chalkboards and adorning the walls—and to …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Double Take: Fairy Tale Tower?

Posted by: Kristi Finefield

While browsing through our millions of images in the Prints and Photographs Division, I often do a double take. I stop, look again, and start asking questions. In this new occasional blog series, Double Take, we will take a first and then a second look at those images together. Some images that we’ll feature will …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Geography Through the Stereoscope

Posted by: Kristi Finefield

The smallest detail in a photograph can sometimes be the key to unlocking its story. Take a look at this stereograph of a classroom full of students in 1908. When I found it in our collections, my curiosity was piqued by the students using handheld stereoscopes to view stereographs. (The girl at center in white …

Smiling woman dressed in outdoor winter clothes holds a large, old-style camera

Unlocking the Power of Primary Sources

Posted by: Kristi Finefield

If you are interested in learning more about visual literacy and historical thinking and about resources such as historical newspapers and photographs, you are in luck! Join us online for a free two-day event: “The Library of Congress and Teachers: Unlocking the Power of Primary Sources.” The virtual conference will take place October 27-28, 2015 …