Her recent donation of these photographs will help visitors better understand the Library’s mission to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The images also will highlight the features of the ornate Jefferson Building, which opened in 1897. Highsmith worked at all hours, day and night, during 2006 and 2007 to obtain the best lighting possible, often perched on a tall lift to reach the many mosaics and murals in order to “do justice to the building and the institution that I love.”
In addition to the Jefferson Building, Highsmith photographed the Library’s James Madison Building and the John Adams Building. These 75 images will be placed online at a later date.
Highsmith, who has documented American life and architecture for more than 30 years, began donating her archive to the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library in 1992. The collection is expected to grow to more than 100,000 photographs covering all of the United States. Highsmith has generously dedicated the rights for these photographs to the American people, thereby providing copyright-free access to her images and making her archive an even more special visual resource. Also, she employs the latest technology to scan, store and print her images, and uses the finest professional digital camera equipment.