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- About this Collection
- Access to the Cataloged Collection
- Background and Scope
- Selected Bibliography
- Ordering Copies
- Related Resources
- Rights And Restrictions
No images are digitized | No jpegs/tiffs display outside Library of Congress | View All
Access to the Cataloged Collection
Primary Access is through Online Catalog Records
The catalog records summarize all the photographs associated with a particular "job" (photo assignment), whether the photographs appeared in Look magazine or not.
Annotated Look catalog record
(LOOK Job 51-62)
Retrieve actual catalog record
Almost all words in the catalog record can be searched. It is possible to search by particular kinds of information, including:
- photographer names
- the title, volume, date, and page of each of the Look magazine articles in which one or more images from the job was published.
It is important to note that:
- The dates of "creation" in the catalog records refer to when the photographs were added to Look's library, and not the date the assignment was shot. The magazine's photo editors worked with a six-week lead time for stories, but it appears that Look staff generally processed and checked in photographers' film promptly, so that the date is fairly close to the date when the photographs were actually shot.
Catalog records generally do not mention negatives,
- when negatives are the only material available for a job
- when the negatives vastly outnumber the contact sheets that are available
- when a considerable number of negatives are lacking for the job.
- Catalog records distinguish unpublished slides and transparencies from those that the magazine published. Material served in the reading room includes photocopies of all the published images and a sample of the unpublished images (see the section, Viewing Materials, below).
The Look photographs have not been systematically digitized. Selected images have been digitized in response to researchers' purchase of reproductions [ view a sample]. To see what, if anything, has been digitized from a particular job, search the LOOK job number (example: LOOK - Job 54-3208 or Job 54-3208). To see all processed materials for any given Look job, whether or not it has been digitized, researchers must submit a call slip in the Prints & Photographs Reading Room.
Working from Issues of Look Magazine
Issues of Look offer one means of identifying material that may be of interest. Sometimes subject matter discussed explicitly in an article or feature may not have been apparent in associated photographs (the unpublished photographs have no captions) and, therefore, may not be mentioned in catalog records. Published print and online periodical indexes, including the Reader's Guide to Periodical Literature can help in locating such articles.
Issues of Look magazine are found:
- in the Library of Congress general collections [LC call no.: AP2.L79]
- on black-and-white microfilm in the Prints & Photographs Reading Room and in the LC Microform Reading Room (microfilm #03386)
- some public and research libraries may also own copies of the original magazine or the black-and-white microfilm.
Researchers approaching the Look Magazine Photograph Collection from content in the published magazine, however, should keep in mind that many illustrations used in the magazine are not in the cataloged portion of the collection or, indeed, in the collection at all. To locate images for a particular Look article:
- Check the credits for individual images (often found beside the picture or in a listing at the front of the issue). The Look archive does not include advertisements. Images credited to commercial sources such as UPI, and Wide World, are not available.
- Search the online catalog records for the article (you can search All Text for the article title, volume, date, and/or page number).
When There Is No Catalog Record for Specific Photographs
If no record is found for particular known items after trying several search methods, it is likely that the material is simply not available. This may be because:
- the images were not in the collection when it was donated to the Library of Congress
- the images were not produced by Look magazine, but rather were gathered from other sources or were labeled by Look staff as being for one-time use only or as being "Restricted"
- the images come from a job that dates before 1952 and no images from the job were used in issues after 1952.
For further information about the scope of the cataloged material, see the Background and Scope section.
Materials served in the reading room for LOOK Job 59-8405.
The material served in the reading room consists of contact sheets of black-and-white photographs and photocopies of published black-and-white and color images.
Catalog record for LOOK Job 59-8405
Cataloged Look jobs contain material that has been prepared for viewing in the Prints & Photographs Reading Room and other material for which special arrangements must be made, because of its fragility. Prepared materials include:
- all contact sheets listed for the job (contact sheets are uncaptioned);
- color photocopies from Look of all published color images from the job and, generally, a sample of any unpublished color from the job;
- black-and-white photocopies from Look of published black-and-white images from the job.
Because color slides and transparencies must be preserved in off-site cold storage, they are not stored with the materials served in the reading room. When requesting cataloged jobs that include color material, you will be served:
- color photocopies of published color images
- color "quick" copies of a representative sample of the unpublished color material.
Special arrangements must be made to view unpublished color slides and transparencies that are not represented by color "quick" copies (see Access to Unprocessed Materials).
Occasionally, a job contains only negatives and no contact sheets. This will be apparent because the MEDIUM field in the catalog record mentions only negatives and not contact sheets. Negatives are stored off-site and are subject to damage when handled for research. In general, negatives are not served. When faced with a job consisting primarily of negatives, the alternatives are:
- Focus on published images (represented by photocopies)
If access to the unpublished black-and-white
negatives is necessary, the type of access
available is dependent upon the quantity of
- when fewer than 50 negatives are involved, request the Photoduplication Service to print the negatives (i.e., buy a contact sheet)
- if more than 50 negatives are involved and you are able to visit the Library to view the negatives, request access under our Access to Unprocessed Materials provisions.
Access to the Uncataloged Portion of the Collection
For information about access to the uncataloged portion of the collection, see the Background and Scope section.