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A Guide to Washington, D.C., Materials

Digital Collections: Prints and Photographs

The City of Washington : Birds-Eye view from the Potomac-looking North. The City of Washington : Birds-Eye view from the Potomac-looking North.
Print: lithograph, color. 1892
Currier & Ives.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

African American Photographs Assembled for 1900 Paris Exposition Collection

The Paris Exposition of 1900 included a display devoted to the history and "present conditions" of African Americans. W. E. B. Du Bois and special agent Thomas J. Calloway spearheaded the planning, collection and installation of the exhibit materials, which included 500 photographs. The collection contains more than 300 photographs compiled by Du Bois. Search this collection, using the terms Washington, D.C. or Howard University to locate items related to Washington, D.C.

Baseball Cards

This collection consists of 2,100 early baseball cards dating from 1887 to 1914. The baseball cards for the Washington Nationals and Washington Statesmen are included in this collection.

Posters: WPA Posters

This collection consists of 908 boldly colored and graphically diverse original posters produced from 1936 to 1943 as part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal. The collection includes posters with information about Washington, D.C.

Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints

The Selected Civil War Photographs Collection contains 1,118 photographs. Most of the images were made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady, and include scenes of military personnel, preparations for battle, and battle after-effects. It contains more than 100 images of Washington, D.C., and the surrounding community during the Civil War.


There are approximately 700 daguerreotypes in the Prints & Photographs Division. The majority of the images are portraits, but the collection does include a few early architectural views, outdoor scenes, and copies of works of art. There are images of the Post Office building, the U.S. Capitol, and the U.S. Patent Office in this collection.

Detroit Publishing Company

The photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company Collection include more than 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photolithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States. Though Washington images primarily depict the city's monument core, there are images of the Navy Yard, the Carnegie Library and views of the “future” Washington.

Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry

Emile Berliner and the Birth of the Recording Industry is a selection of more than 400 items from the Emile Berliner Papers and 108 Berliner sound recordings from the Library of Congress's Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives

The black-and-white photographs of the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection are a landmark in the history of documentary photography. The collection contains more than 6000 images of the District of Columbia. It also includes the Gordon Parks series on Mrs. Ella Watson, which included the notable portrait “American Gothic.”

Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Color Photographs

The color photographs of the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection include scenes of rural and small-town life, migrant labor, and the effects of the Great Depression. The collections contains more than thirty images of the District of Columbia.

Gottscho-Schleisner Collection

The Gottscho-Schleisner Collection comprises more than 29,000 images, primarily of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures. There are more than 400 images of Washington, D.C., including neighborhood houses in Anacostia, Tunlaw houses, the Frederick Douglass home, Fort Dupont, and Barry Farms.

Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey

The collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies. The collection contains more than 12,000 records relating to buildings in Washington, D.C. More information is added quarterly.

Horydczak Collection

The Theodor Horydczak collection (about 14,350 photographs online) documents the architecture and social life of the Washington metropolitan area in the 1920s, 1930s, and 1940s, including exteriors and interiors of commercial, residential, and government buildings, as well as street scenes and views of neighborhoods.

I Do Solemnly Swear . . .”: Presidential Inaugurations"

A collection of approximately 400 items or 2,000 digital files from each of the 54 inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to George W. Bush's inauguration of 2001.

Panoramic Photographs

The Panoramic Photograph Collection contains approximately 4,000 images featuring American cityscapes, landscapes, and group portraits. There are quite a number of images of the Library of Congress Jefferson Building, and panoramic images of Walter Reed Hospital, the D.C. waterfront, and events taking place in the District of Columbia.

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929

Prosperity and Thrift assembles a wide array of Library of Congress source materials from the 1920s that document the widespread prosperity of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer economy, and the role of government in this transition. The collection includes images of Washington, D.C., businesses such as People’s Drug and the Washington Cadillac Company.

William P. Gottlieb Collection

The William P. Gottlieb Collection, comprising more than 1600 photographs of celebrated jazz artists, documents the jazz scene from 1938 to 1948, primarily in New York City and Washington, D.C. There are photographs of performances from Fort Myer, the Howard Theater, the National Press Club, and programs record at WINX.

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  August 26, 2016
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