- View All
- About this Collection
- Ambrotypes and Tintypes in the Liljenquist Collection
- Background and Scope
- Revealing Details: Take a Closer Look at the Photographs
- Photographers Represented in the Liljenquist Collection
- Related Resources
- Rights And Restrictions
All images are digitized | All jpegs/tiffs display outside Library of Congress | View All
About this Collection
New Photos Added! View the most recent additions
Contact Us: If you have questions or information about items in the collection, write us at Ask-A-Librarian
|View: Union ambrotypes and tintypes Union CDVs (cartes-de-visite)||
View: Confederate ambrotypes and tintypes Confederate CDVs (cartes-de-visite)
View: Women & Children
Click on the below links to sample some of the many Civil War subjects represented in the Liljenquist Family Collection.
- Abraham Lincoln: portraits and related subjects, campaign badges, Wide Awakes (political youth organization)
- Animals: dogs, horses
- Health and well-being: hospitals, hospital stewards, nurses, surgeons, chaplains, amputees
- Notable military units: United States Colored Troops (U.S.C.T.), 54th Massachusetts Infantry, Duryée’s Zouaves (5th New York Infantry), Ellsworth’s Avengers (44th New York Infantry), Mosby’s Rangers (43rd Virginia Cavalry Battalion)
- People: African Americans in uniform, Women and children, Vivandières
- Soldiers killed or wounded in action; killed and wounded at Antietam; killed and wounded at Fredericksburg, etc. (see also a Story Map tracking portraits of wounded and killed soldiers)
- Veterans: Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.), United Confederate Veterans
- Unidentified portraits
UNIFORMS, EQUIPMENT AND WEAPONS
- Equipment: canteens, kepis, sack coats, haversacks, hardee hats, tents
- Military branches: Artillery, Cavalry, Engineers, Infantry, Marines, Medical, Navy
- Military decorations: corps badges, G.A.R. and veteran badges, Medal of Honor
- Musical instruments: banjos, bugles, drums, fifes (flutes), guitars, saxhorns, violins
- Uniforms: musicians, zouaves, cadets, including West Point, and Virginia Military Institute (V.M.I.)
- Vessels: gunboats, ships
- Weapons: bayonets, knives, including bowie knives and Sheffields knives, swords, carbines, muskets, revolvers, rifles
PHOTGRAPHY AND OTHER MEDIA
- Artifacts and ephemera: drawings, manuscripts
- Photographic props: backdrops, flags
- Photographic media: albums, cartes-de-visite and albumen, cabinet cards, stereographs, ambrotypes, daguerreotypes, tintypes
- Photographers: portraits of Civil War photographers
View: Medical subjects
View: Union veterans Confederate veterans
View: Patriotic letters & memorabilia
Summary: More than 6,000 special portrait photographs, called ambrotypes and tintypes, and small card photos called cartes de visite represent both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Tom Liljenquist and his sons Jason, Brandon, and Christian built this collection in memory of President Abraham Lincoln and the estimated 620,000-850,000 Union and Confederate servicemen who died in the American Civil War. For many, these photographs are the last known record we have of who they were and what they looked like. See "From the Donor's Perspective--The Last Full Measure" for the full story. The Liljenquist Family began donating their collection to the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division in 2010 and continues to add to it.
There are many ways to enjoy and learn about this collection:
Two story maps, "Faces of the Civil War: Mapping the Liljenquist Collection" (published 2022), and Susie King Taylor: African American Nurse and Teacher in the Civil War" (published 2019)
Two primary source sets, "Civil War Photographs: New Technologies and New Uses" and Civil War Soldiers' Portraits: The Liljenquist Family Collection", with a teacher's guide
For more ideas on using these photos with students, see the Winter 2012 issue, "The Civil War Across Disciplines" of the Library's Teaching With Primary Sources Journal, available in the TPS Journal Archive.
Glimpses of Soldiers' Lives
A set of essays offers glimpses of the lives of particular soldiers--what they ate and whom they missed, how far they marched in the mud, when they were wounded or captured or at last discharged. The biographies are accompanied by relevant photographs and drawings from Library of Congress collections that depict where individuals fought or were imprisoned. Additional essays are found in the research guide, "Civil War Men and Women: Glimpses of Their Lives Through Photography".
An April 2011 exhibition of the collection, The Last Full Measure: Civil War Photographs from the Liljenquist Family Collection, commemorates the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War. View the presentation by Christian Liljenquist at the dedication of the collection (Christian's portion of the presentation begins at 9:39 minutes into the proceedings).
View the video presentation, The Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs (published 2016).
You can also enjoy this collection in Flickr, where public comments provide additional information about images in the set called Civil War Faces.
A variety of Picture This blog posts and Teaching with the Library of Congress blog posts relating to the collection.