Photos on Ice

The Winter Olympics are in full swing and many are tuning in to watch the figure skating competition, which prompted me to look back into our collections for images of ice skating from years past. I particularly enjoy the photos of Washingtonians enjoying ice skating on the Reflecting Pool, which stretches between the Washington Monument […]

African Americans in the Military: In Pictures

Images from the Prints & Photographs Division’s collections help to illustrate the sustained contributions of Black Americans to the United States through military service over the course of the nation’s history. We hope you can join us for one of two “Finding Pictures: African Americans in the Military” webinar sessions this month (details at the […]

The Changing Face of Washington, D.C. in the U.S News & World Report Magazine Photo Collection

One of the most fascinating and enjoyable aspects of research with visual materials is the wide variety of information you can learn from a single image, from the obvious to the unexpected.  A photographic portrait, for example, has a primary job of showing you what someone looks like. But beyond that, you could learn about […]

New Research Guide: Cartoons and Caricatures

We are pleased to announce the publication of a new guide describing the Prints & Photographs Division’s large and varied collection of cartoon and caricature art. Martha H. Kennedy, now retired Curator of Popular & Applied Graphic Art and author of the guide, describes the appeal of this collection material: “The Library’s vast, diverse collections […]

Reflections on Photochroms

The collections of the Prints & Photographs Division of the Library of Congress include thousands of photochroms. These early color prints were photomechanically reproduced so they weren’t photographs in the traditional sense. I spent some time looking through the photochroms, most of which date from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, while working on […]

New Year, New to See

The following is a guest post by Hanna Soltys, Reference Librarian, with contributions by Sara W. Duke, Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Arts, and Micah Messenheimer, Curator of Photography, all of the Prints and Photographs Division. To kick off the New Year, the Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientations for January 2022 look at newly […]

Slice Up the Fruitcake

This week, we’re looking at something I don’t like very much – fruitcake. This seasonal sweet treat has never appealed to me. But while preparing for a recent Flickr album featuring images of butter and baking, I stumbled upon three fruitcake photos that caught my eye and deserved detailed views. First up, a Russell Lee […]

A Bicycle Challenge in the Nation’s Capital

This past year a researcher called to our attention a series of photographs of children posing with bicycles in the National Photo Company Collection. Below is one of the images, which came to the Library with a somewhat mysterious title: “Times girl on bicycle.” Documentation obtained by the researcher through the Library of Congress’s Chronicling […]

Documenting Historic American Landscapes – Challenge Accepted!

The following is a guest post by Ryan Brubacher, Reference Librarian, Prints & Photographs Division.  In late November, the winners of the 2021 HALS Challenge were announced. The announcement offers a good opportunity to highlight the Historic American Landscapes Survey (HALS) collection, including the historical reports found within this collection, as well as the National […]

Ready for Research: Contemporary Photography Donated by the Annenberg Foundation

The following is a guest post by Aliza Leventhal, Head, Technical Services, Prints & Photographs Division. When the Annenberg Space for Photography closed in June 2020, they offered the Library of Congress more than 900 high quality prints from ten of their exhibitions. We responded enthusiastically to this rare opportunity to add work by 329 […]