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- About this Collection
- Background and Scope
- Selected Bibliography
- Digitizing the Collection
- Organization and Arrangement
- Related Resources
- Rights And Restrictions
All images are digitized | All jpegs/tiffs display outside Library of Congress | View All
Organization & Arrangement
The online CSAS collection includes each site described in the "Carnegie Survey" card index, compiled by Johnston and her assistant for the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, and each negative filed in the Carnegie Survey series (call number code: LC-J7). The two sources usually match, but not always. Some card entries no longer have corresponding negatives, and a few negatives lack entries in the card index. The note "Title from photographer's inventory" indicates that the data in the online record come from this card index. Photographs showing differenct views of the same site are likely to have identical titles. The subject index terms provide access to the distinctive features of the individual images.
The card catalog is arranged alphabetically by state and county and has one entry for each site. The 3 x 5 inch cards are pre-printed forms marked: "Carnegie Survey by Frances Benjamin Johnston." Data categories with typed information include the building's location (state, county, town or vicinity), construction date, subject (name), history, and present owner. The photographer's notes on the cards include historic information as well as key features that caught her eye. Each negative has a unique hand-written "index number" and a date for when the negatives were made. Most of the data was gathered by Johnston, and the Library hired an assistant to prepare the cards under her direction in the 1940s. Library staff have occasionally added information to the cards. Notes, for example, indicate the kind of documentation available for the site in the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS).
The photographic negatives are also arranged by state and then sequential numbers that seem to indicate when Johnston added the negatives to her file, perhaps reflecting a trip to document buildings in a particular area. For example, one group of negatives showing Frederick County, Maryland, is numbered LC-J7-MD-1123 to 1142 and focuses on the Thurmont area. The other group is numbered LC-J7-MD-1516 to 1526 and shows bridges. The gap in the numbering sequence could indicate that two trips were taken and that the negatives with lower numbers were taken before negatives with higher numbers, but more research is needed to prove this. The negative numbers could also be useful to researchers studying prints at the Library of Congress and other archives. The number was often noted on the backs of the prints and is a link to the CSAS provenance and to a building’s name and location.
Prints in LOTs
Prints from the Carnegie Survey negatives can be found in two types of LOTs (groups of related images). The Library of Congress has a set of 8 x 10-inch contact prints, some made by Johnston and others by the Library itself. In the early 1980s, the Library expanded this set by making prints for more than 400 previously unprinted negatives. A microfiche version of these prints was published by Chadwyck-Healey in 1984. The prints are arranged alphabetically by county within each state. Each state has its own LOT number:
- Alabama (LOT 11833)
- Florida (LOT 11834)
- Georgia (LOT 11835)
- Louisiana (LOT 11836)
- Maryland (LOT 11837)
- Mississippi (LOT 17838)
- North Carolina (LOT 11839)
- South Carolina (LOT 11840)
- Viriginia (LOT 11841)
There is no LOT for Mississippi in the microfiche set because the Library did not receive the negatives for Mississippi.
The Library also has general groups of Johnston's architecture photos containing vintage prints made by or for Johnston during her lifetime. These prints include her commissions for contemporary architects, her garden work, and her Carnegie Survey project. The prints from southern states sometimes bear negative numbers that identify them as part of the Carnegie survey. Each state is represented in two LOTs--one for small prints and one for oversize prints:
- Alabama, Florida, and Georgia (LOT 12623 and LOT 12650)
- Louisiana (LOT 12624 and LOT 12636)
- Maryland (LOT 12645 and LOT 12648)
- Mississippi (LOT 12634 and LOT 12677)
- North Carolina (LOT 12638 and LOT 12649)
- South Carolina (LOT 12642 and LOT 12678)
- Virginia and West Virginia (LOT 12629 and LOT 12643)
These vintage images include cyanotype proof prints, black-and-white gelatin silver prints, enlarged exhibition prints, often 16 x 20 inches, and other formats. The vintage prints are of special interest because they represent how Johnston intended her photographs to be seen. For example, see the play of light and shadow in this view of Richmond in Natchez, Mississippi.