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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
About This Collection
For highlights from the collection, see the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South Image Sampler.
Noted architectural photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) [see her Biographical Overview and Chronology] created a systematic record of early American buildings and gardens called the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (CSAS). This collection, created primarily in the 1930s, provides more than 7,100 images showing an estimated 1,700 structures and sites in rural and urban areas of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, and to a lesser extent Florida, Mississippi, and West Virginia. Johnston’s interest in both vernacular and high style structures resulted in vivid portrayals of the exteriors and interiors of houses, mills, and churches as well as mansions, plantations, and outbuildings.
The survey began with a privately funded project to document the Chatham estate and nearby Fredericksburg and Old Falmouth, Virginia, in 1927-29. Johnston then dedicated herself to pursuing a larger project to help preserve historic buildings and inspire interest in American architectural history. The Carnegie Corporation became her primary financial supporter and provided six grants during the 1930s on condition that the negatives be deposited with the Library of Congress. The Library formally acquired the CSAS negatives from her estate in 1953, along with her extensive papers and approximately 20,000 other photographs.
The Library appreciates the funding provided by ARTstor to digitize the negatives in 2008.