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Collection Look Collection

Related Resources

In the Library of Congress

Prints and Photographs Division


Relating to Look Magazine and Look Staff

Charlotte Brooks - Images made for Look Magazine (Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 1994:017):
Approximately 25,000 photographs (negatives, photographic prints, contact sheets) and accompanying card file. Special arrangements are required to consult this material (see Access to Unprocessed Materials)

Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection: Several Look photographers first worked for the Farm Security Administration and/or the Office of War Information during the 1930s and 1940s. Among them: Arthur Rothstein, John Vachon and Russell Lee. The FSA/OWI photographs are available online and offer a point of comparison. More information

Look, v. 10-35 (1946-1971) [microfilm]
Published issues of Look, useful for locating published images and for comparison to unpublished material.

Look magazine picture research files (Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 1995:031) About 215,000 photographs, ca. 1935-1971, acquired from Columbia University. The photographs were gathered (not made) by Look, apparently for research purposes. They include wire service and other commercial photographs of world news events. The magazine gave the file to Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in 1972. The material has not been organized. Special arrangements are required to consult it (see Access to Unprocessed Materials).

Arthur Rothstein Collection (Unprocessed in PR 06 CN 850 and PR 13 CN 1981:273):
Approximately 5,500 items from various stages of his career, including his Look work. Special arrangements are required to consult this material (see Access to Unprocessed Materials).

Other Photojournalism Collections

New York World-Telegram & Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection

About one million photographs that the New York World-Telegram & Sun newspaper assembled between the 1890s and 1967 (chiefly 1920 to 1967). The collection includes a biographical section of portraits and other images related to specific people (about three-quarters of the collection) and a subject/geographical file which contains images related to topical subjects and places. More information

U.S. News and World Report Magazine Photograph Collection:

Almost 1.2 million original negatives (primarily black & white) and 45,000 contact sheets donated by the U.S. News & World Report, Inc. The collection consists primarily of photographs taken by staff of the U.S. News & World Report Magazine between 1952 and 1986. Coverage strengths include: politics, government, economics, industry, education, domestic life, transportation, communication, health care, and housing. More information

Main Reading Room


Access to bound issues of Look (Call number: AP2 .L79) and other Look/Cowles Communications publications.

Manuscript Division


Papers of Arthur Rothstein. About 3,100 items. Includes documents relating to the Look photographic department and photographic library, lists of photographs by Rothstein, and speeches by Look editors and publishers. [View catalog record]

Recorded Sound Reference Center


Audio tapes of interviews Prints & Photographs Division staff held with individuals who offer insights on Look and the context in which it operated have been transferred to the Recorded Sound Reference Center. The interviews are as follows:

Former Look and Cowles Communication Staff Members:

  • Cal Bernstein, Staff Photographer, interviewed 6-12-95
  • Fleur Cowles, editor of Flair, interviewed, 11-13-96
  • Paul Fusco, Staff Photographer, interviewed 10-6-98
  • Stanley Tretick, Staff Photographer, interviewed 6-2-94

About Look and American Photojournalism

  • Miles Barth, then curator of a one-person Arthur Rothstein exhibition, International Center for Photography; comments regarding Arthur Rothstein recorded 5-18-94
  • Jill (Davidson) Brett, Director, Office of Communications, Library of Congress; comments about being the subject of the Look job, "Roomates (working girls, Wash. D.C.)" [retrieve catalog record for this job] recorded 7-15-97
  • Mike Carlbach, University of Miami Photojournalism professor; comments regarding American photojournalism recorded 6-16-94
  • Alan Fern, former Chief, Prints and Photographs Division; comments regarding the Library's acquisition of the Look Magazine Photograph Collection recorded 4-28-94
  • Wendy Kozol, Associate Professor, Oberlin College, specialist on visual culture; comments regarding American photojournalism, with special reference to Life magazine recorded 1-17-96
  • Carl and Shelley Mydans, retired photographer and reporter for LIFE, respectively; comments regarding American photojournalism, with special reference to Life and Look magazines recorded 5-10-94
  • John Peterson, retired Professor of Journalism, Loyalist College, Belleville, Ontario. Biography of Arthur Rothstein in progress; comments regarding American photojournalism recorded 4-9-97

In Other Institutions

The Library of Congress does not maintain these sites. Users should direct concerns about these links to their respective site administrators or webmasters.

Relating to Look Magazine and Look Staff

Columbia University
Columbia University Libraries
New York, NY External

  • Reminiscences of Simon Michael Bessie: oral history, 1976. Discusses career in publishing, including Look magazine. (NXCP87-A173)
  • Reminiscences of George Horace Gallup: oral history, 1962. Discusses early newspaper readership surveys; journalism teaching 1929-32; principles of effective advertising; magazine publishing: Literary Digest, Reader's Digest, Saturday Evening Post, Look, etc. (NXCP89-A34)

Museum of the City of New York
Prints and Photographs Collection
New York, NY,%20Drawings%20and%20Photographs External

During the 1940s and 1950s Look sent material relating to New York City to the Museum of the City of New York. Also includes substantial holdings of Stanley Kubrick photos made for Look.

University of Iowa Libraries
Special Collections Department
Iowa City, IA External

Papers of Merl Armitage, at one time, president of the American Institute of Graphic Arts and art director of Quick and Look Magazine. Collection Dates: 1932-1964. 2.5 linear ft.

Wisconsin Historical Society Archives
Madison, WI External

"Look Magazine Records, 1948-1966." (From RLG Archival Resources entry, consulted 6/2004): "Records and correspondence of one of America's leading photo journalistic periodicals, Included are correspondence, financial records, legal files, minutes, reports, speech files, story proposals, interbureau communications, personnel records, in-house publications and production reports, and other documents. Routine correspondence makes up roughly half of the collection."

Photojournalism Collections

Life External

Commercial joint venture between Google and LIFE offering images from Life magazine.

National Archives and Records Administration
Washington, D.C. External

Records of the U.S. Information Agency (Record Group 306). Includes photographs used in USIA-issued magazines, including America Illustrated, Topic, and Dialogue. In some cases, also includes issues of the magazines themselves.

Time & Life Pictures External

Commercial site offering highlights from Time and Life magazines.

The Prints and Photographs Division maintains a list of public institutions in the United States and Canada that hold newspaper photograph morgues: Newspaper Photograph Morgues.

Selected Bibliography

Note: Library of Congress call numbers and links to online catalog records have been provided for those items found in the LC Online Catalog. Staff have looked at items with annotations, unless otherwise noted.

About Look

  • Cooperman, Gary S. "A historical study of Look magazine and its concept of photojournalism." Thesis (M.A.), University of Missouri--Columbia, 1966.
  • Cowles, Gardner. Mike Looks Back : the Memoirs of Gardner Cowles, Founder of Look Magazine. New York : G. Cowles, 1985. LC Call number: PN4874.C76 A35 1985 [view catalog record]
  • Lively memoir with discussion of Look's early years and the individuals who influenced the magazine's editorial style.
  • Cowles Communications. Records of the Look years. New York: Cowles Communications, 1973? LC Call number: PN4900.L6 C6 1973 [view catalog record]
  • Kozol, Wendy. Life's America: Family and Nation in Postwar Photojournalism. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1994. LC Call number: TR820.K68 1994 [view catalog record]
  • Touches briefly on Look and its circulation statistics, in the context of discussing the development of American picture magazines.
  • Leonard, George Burr. Walking on the Edge of the World. Boston : Houghton Mifflin, 1988. LC Call number: PN4874.L37 A3 1988 [view catalog record]
  • Memoir by a Look editor.
  • "Look Magazine Photograph Collection" in American Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study of Women's History and Culture in the United States:

About Individual Look Photographers

  • George Eastman House. Arthur Rothstein: 200 photographs. [A George Eastman House exhibition, organized with the cooperation of Look magazine]. Rochester, N.Y: 1956.
  • "Rushes." Sight & Sound 11 (Feb 2001): 4.
  • Includes discussion of Stanley Kubrick's photos from his time as a photographer for Look magazine. (Not examined.)
  • Schonauer, David. "Lost Shots." American Photo 10 (Nov./Dec. 1999): 20.
  • Obituary of Look photographer Stanley Tretick and discussion of the fate of photographs he took of President John F. Kennedy. (Not examined.)

By Look Photographers

  • Rothstein, Arther. "Look magazine's quick course in photography." Popular Photography 40 (March 1957): 36-9. LC Call number: TR1.P8845
  • Rothstein gives tips about equipment and common photographic blunders from the point of view of his position as Technical Director of Photography at Look.
  • Rothstein, Arthur. Photojournalism: pictures for magazines and newspapers. New York: American Photographic Book Pub. Co., 1956. LC Call number: PN4784.P5 R6 [P&P - FSA]
  • Rothstein, Arthur. "When Look magazine photographers take a trip." U.S. Camera 31 (May 1968):16- .
  • Theisen, Earl. Making your pictures interesting. Chicago: Ziff-Davis Pub. Co, 1947. LC Call number: TR680.T48 [view catalog record]
  • Thiesen's tips for successful photography, with comments about photographers' practices in shooting stories for Look.

Published By (Or in Cooperation With) Look

  • American Heritage Foundation, and LOOK magazine. Our American heritage: documents of freedom. The Foundation, 1947. Call number: JK11 1947.L6 [view catalog record]
  • Apollo 8, voyage to the moon : the dramatic story of man's greatest adventure. New York: Cowles Communications, 1969.
  • Apollo 11: on the moon. New York: Cowles Communications, 1969.
  • The Blacks & the whites. Des Moines: Look, 1969.
  • The coming of Christ : the inspiring story of the prophecy, birth and message of Jesus Christ as seen through the eyes of the great masters and told in the words of the Old and New Testaments. New York; Garden City, N.Y: Cowles Magazine and Broadcasting, Inc; Distribution by Doubleday, 1963. LC Call number: N8050.L6 [view catalog record]
  • Cowles Magazines, Inc. Welcome to Look. Des Moines, Iowa: Cowles Magazines, Inc, 1958.
  • A guide to the religions of America; the famous Look magazine series on religion, plus facts, figures, tables, charts, articles, and comprehensive reference material on churches and religious groups in the United States. Edited by Leo Rosten. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1955. LC Call number: BR516 .L77. [view catalog record]
  • Hamilton, Edward A., and Look. Our land, our people; people in pictures from Look magazine. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall, 1958. LC Call number: E169.L844. [view catalog record]
  • 157 Look photographs selected in connection with a traveling exhibit, "Look at America," produced cooperatively by the American Federation of Arts and Look.
  • How to keep your family healthy. From the pages of Look magazine--twenty authoritative articles on health and home safety which will help you live longer and enjoy it. New York: Franklin Watts, inc, 1946. LC Call number: RC87 .L77. [view catalog record]
  • JFK memorial book. New York: Cowles Magazine and Broadcasting, Inc, 1964. LC Call number: E842 .L59. [view catalog record]
  • Johnson, Gerald W. Woodrow Wilson, the unforgettable figure who has returned to haunt us. New York: London, Harper & Brothers, 1944. LC Call number: E767.J7. [view catalog record]
  • Look at America. By the editors of Look. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., [1946-48]. LC Call number: E169.L84 [view catalog record]
  • The Look Book. Edited by Leo Calvin Rosten. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1975. LC Call number: AC5.L84 [P&P] [view catalog record]
  • Reproduces hundreds of photos from Look, focusing especially on celebrity and fashion photos. (Note: The handwritten numbers under images in P&P's copy of this book have been crossed out as they are no longer accurate.)
  • Looking over your shoulder: cartoons from Look magazine. Selected by Look's Editorial Board ; compiled by humor editor Gurney Williams. New York: Dutton, 1965. LC Call number: NC1428.L59. [view catalog record]
  • Manchester, William R. The death of a President, November 20-November 25, 1963. New York: Harper & Row, 1967. LC Call number: E842.9.M28 1967 [view catalog record]
  • Mich, Daniel D., and Eberman, Edwin. The technique of the picture story. New York: London, McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1945. LC Call number: PN4784.P5M5 [view catalog record]
  • Discussion of qualities of successful picture stories, with examples drawn from Look. Based on a series of lectures given in 1944 at the Washington Square Writing Center.
  • My favorite war story. Compiled by the editors of Look. New York: London, Whittlesey House, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc, 1945. LC Call number: D811.5.L58. [view catalog record]
  • National Municipal League. All-America cities: Look Magazine and the National Municipal League present for 1968. Look, 1969.
  • Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Parenthood, U.S.A., reprinted from a series of picture articles originally published by Look magazine. New York: Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 1942.
  • Red Russia after 50 years. By the editors of Look magazine. New York: Cowles Education Corp, 1968. LC Call number: No holdings information [view catalog record]
  • Rosten, Leo C. They made our world: a selection from the Look magazine series. New York: Cowles Communications, 1965.
  • Spence, Hartzell. The story of America's religions. Published in co-operation with the editors of Look magazine. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1960. LC Call number: BR516.5 .S7 1960 [view catalog record].
  • Suburbia; the good life in our exploding utopia. By the editors of Look magazine. New York: Cowles Education Corp, 1968. LC Call number: HT351 .S9. [view catalog record]

Audience Surveys Relating to Look

  • Alfred Politz Research, Inc. The audiences of nine magazines, their size and characteristics: Collier's, Life, Look, Saturday evening post, Better homes & gardens, Good housekeeping, Ladies' home journal, McCall's, Woman's home companion. New York: 1955.
  • Alfred Politz Research, Inc, Alfred Politz Research, Inc, and Audiences of nine magazines, 1958. Audiences reached through magazine combinations, 1958: Life, Look, Saturday evening post, Time, Better homes & gardens, Good housekeeping, Ladies' home journal, McCall's, Reader's digest. New York: 1958.
  • Alfred Politz Research, Inc. Survey of U.S. markets, 1956; a national survey sponsored by Look Magazine. New York: 1956.
  • American Institute of Public Opinion. How America feels as we enter the sixties, a national study conducted by George Gallup's Institute of Public Opinion for Look Magazine. New York: 1961.
  • American Institute of Public Opinion. The mood of America, 1965; a national study. New York: Cowles Magazine and Broadcasting, 1965.
  • Crossley, Inc, and Look. National study of magazine audience 1952, report. N.Y: Cowles Magazine, Inc, 1952.
  • Crossley, Inc. National study of magazine audiences, 1952; nine magazines, conducted for Look Magazine. Working manual. New York: Cowles, 1952.
  • Look audience, 1962 : a national study. United States: Cowles Magazines and Broadcasting, 1962.
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