In December 2001, an extraordinary display of some 250 color images of "ground zero" taken during and immediately after the attacks by twenty local news photographers opened at the Bolivar Arellano Gallery in New York. Although a handful of the images taken have appeared in newspapers and magazines, the vast majority of these works were unpublished. A news photographer himself, Arellano opened his small exhibit space specifically to display the 9/11 photos of his friends and colleagues, as well as his own. All wanted their work to bear public witness to the shocking tragedy--the biggest story they would ever cover--as well as to honor the dead and the actions of the living. The 126 riveting images selected for the Library's collection reveal photojournalism at its best.
As the curators continuously reviewed the Division's growing archive, they realized that important images were missing. While scores of photographers had documented the destruction of the World Trade Center, few were on hand when the Pentagon was attacked, or when highjacked Flight 93 crashed in a rural field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Intent on filling gaps, Division curators viewed several dramatic, eye-witness shots of the Pentagon taken by a local amateur photographer, Daryl Donley. An administrator at the National Symphony Orchestra, he had been caught in a traffic jam directly opposite the building. The doomed passenger jet passed directly over his car before exploding in a fireball inside the immense office complex. After recovering from his initial shock, Donley reached for his camera and took a unique series of photographs of the burning structure immediately following the impact. Tracking him down, the resourceful photo curators arranged to acquire a selection of his extraordinary views.
To obtain needed images from Shanksville, curators contacted newspapers, the local volunteer fire department, and even the rural electric cooperative, eventually locating several independent and amateur photographers who had documented the crash site, the activities of Red Cross and other volunteer workers, and the memorials to the victims that had spontaneously appeared. From online databases, curators also identified relevant Shanksville and Pentagon images from photographers employed by Associated Press, Reuters, and the Knight-Ridder Syndicate and obtained additional images for the collection.
New York City - World Trade Center
Don Halasy, [Two women looking upwards with expressions of shock and horror, during the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, New York City], 2001. Inkjet print. Gift of Thomas B. and Katherine B. Martin. Prints and Photographs Division
Tamara Beckwith, [View of World Trade Center towers, New York, New York, with tower #2 exploding in a ball of fire after the September 11th terrorist attack], September 11, 2001. Inkjet print Gift of Thomas B. and Katherine B. Martin. Prints and Photographs Division (157)
Don Halasy, [Crying woman standing in street with ambulance in background, following the September 11th terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, New York City], 2001. Inkjet print. Gift of Thomas B. and Katherine B. Martin. Prints and Photographs Division
Don Halasy, [Man covered in ashes assisting and walking with woman holding a particle mask to her face], 2001. Inkjet print. Gift of Thomas B. and Katherine B. Martin. Prints and Photographs Division
David Finn, [Candles at sidewalk memorial following September 11th terrorists attack, 2001, New York City], 2001. Dye coupler print. Gift of the Artist. Prints and Photographs Division (134)
David Finn, [Nuns looking at missing notices following September 11th terrorists attack, 2001, New York City], 2001. Dye coupler print. Gift of the Artist. Prints and Photographs Division (133)
David Finn, [Memorial to Matthew Diaz following September 11th terrorists attack, 2001, New York City], 2001. Dye coupler print. Gift of the Artist. Prints and Photographs Division (135)
Washington, DC - The Pentagon
The Daily Journal/Dylan Moore. [Brooks Breece of Dale City, Va., waves the American flag on a hill overlooking Interstate 95 south and U.S. Route 1], 2001. Kodak Inkjet print. Prints and Photographs Division (271)
The Free Lance-Star/Reza A. Marvashti. [Hundreds of students gathered at Ball Circle on the campus of Mary Washington College in Fredericksburg, Va. to pray and reflect by candlelight on the day's events], 2001. Epson Inkjet print. Prints and Photographs Division (269)
Lana Lawrence. [The Sikh at the candlelight service at the Lincoln Memorial], September 24, 2001. Dye coupler print. Reprinted with permission of the artist. Prints and Photographs Division (194)
Shanksville, PA - Crash Site
Somerset (PA) Rural Electric Co-op. [Temporary memorial, Shanksville (PA)], September, 2001. Inkjet print from digital file. Gift of Somerset (PA) Rural Electric Co-op. Reprinted with permission. Prints and Photographs Division (205)