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National Child Labor Committee Collection Photographs by Lewis Hine

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In 1954, to commemorate its fiftieth anniversary, the National Child Labor Committee presented to the Library official records, correspondence, speeches, reports, press releases, and clippings from the period 1904 to 1953. The collection includes field notes and unpublished studies on child labor conditions in various industries, sixty scrapbooks documenting the organization's campaign for child welfare legislation, minutes of the meetings of the board of trustees (1904-45) and of the National Aid to Education Committee (1916-18), and proceedings of the annual conferences (1905-16). The records are supplemented by correspondence (forty-eight items) of Dr. Alexander J. McKelway, secretary for the southern states of the committee, which was given to the Library in 1947. The Manuscript Division has prepared an unpublished finding aid for the 2,800-item collection.

Housed in the Prints and Photographs Division are approximately five thousand photographs and 350 original glass negatives taken by Lewis Hine (1874-1940) for the National Child Labor Committee which were also part of the 1954 gift. Between 1908 and 1924, Hine investigated the industrial exploitation of children in American mills, glass factories, mines, canneries, agriculture, street trades, and tenement sweatshops. Many of Hine's images document the problems faced by immigrant children in the United States. Photographs in the collection many of which were reproduced in the committee's publications, are grouped in albums by type of employment and keyed to the original caption files. The captions incorporate Hine's careful notes and often record the subject's age name and work duties and the place and date of the photograph. Some of the images are reproduced in Judith M. Cutman's Lewis W. Hine and the American Social Conscience (New York: Walker [1967] 156 p. TR140.H52G8). The collection is represented in the division catalog.

The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections. Washington, Library of Congress, 1972, 59-34.

U.S. Library of Congress, Manuscript Division, "Manuscripts," U.S. Library of Congress Quarterly Journal, v. 12, May 1955, 14-135.

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  October 14, 2010
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