A Window on the Bolshevik Revolution

When James Maxwell Pringle departed for Russia in November 1917, his intent was to visit the Petrograd (St. Petersburg) branch of his employer, National City Bank. His business trip turned into an unexpected window on the Bolshevik Revolution. Arriving in Petrograd in the days just after the October Revolution, when Bolshevik forces overthrew the Russian […]

Happy Valentine’s Day

In honor of Valentine’s Day, here is a vintage 1883 advertisement for Prang’s Valentine Cards which shows a woman holding a group of tethered cherubs, who float like a bunch of balloons above her head. The advertisement also shows that the sale of Valentine’s greetings has been of commercial importance for well over a century. […]

A Poster Comes to Life

“Meet an American soldier of production. … His uniform is a pair of overalls and a welder’s mask. Not reveille, but a battered alarm clock awakens him six days a week at 6 a.m. There are no service stripes on those welder’s sleeves he wears but his part in the winning of this war is […]

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 […]