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Scheduled Orientations and Webinars

Individuals requiring accommodations for any of these events are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]

Regularly Scheduled Orientations

Regularly scheduled orientations provide an overview of the Prints & Photographs Division collections and reference services. Orientations are offered every month. Currently, all orientations are being offered virtually.

November 2021: Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Native American History and Visual Culture: This orientation session will include a brief introduction to images in the collections that relate to the history and culture of Indigenous Americans. Instruction will cover library search tools, online resources, and how to prepare for a future visit to the reading room. The same orientation will be offered twice (orientations are not being recorded)

Print showing Native American dancer with winged costume
Eagle dancer. Pring by Woody Crumbo, c1952.
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3g02451

Object Lessons

Join a Prints & Photographs Division staff member in a close look at an object or group of objects from the collections -- a chance to converse and appreciate together!

Object Lesson: Wartime Sewing Culture Through FSA Images, Dec. 2, 2021 7 PM Eastern Time: Michelle An, Library Technician, will take a deep dive into sewing culture on the home front during World War II. Examining images from the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information (FSA/OWI) photograph collection, Michelle will offer insights on fabric and design regulations imposed on home dressmakers by the War Production Board (WPB), and its effects on sewers on the ground level. Highlights include images of a professional model demonstrating WPB conservation rules, and those that show the growing need for domestic sewing classrooms, as documented by FSA/OWI photographers Russell Lee, Jack Delano, and others. (This session is not being recorded.) Register for this session: https://loc.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_dWa8DxLhTGWUcgAEMZJQeA
Women sitting at sewing machines, small child sitting on floor beside them
Wives of farm workers living at the Yuba City FSA (Farm Security Administration) camp sewing in the community building of the camp. Yuba City, California. Photo by Russell Lee, 1940. http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsa.8c00406

Past Orientations and Webinars

Feb. 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Basic Printmaking Processes": A brief introduction to basic hand printmaking processes, including woodcuts, etchings, and lithographs, through featured artists' prints from the Library's Fine Print collections. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

March 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Women in Sports": Highlighting visual materials of women in sports. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

April 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: WPA Posters": A sampling of New Deal graphics, highlighting the ever-popular WPA posters. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

April 8, 2021: "Object Lesson: Spider-Man": Sara W. Duke, Curator of Popular & Applied Graphic Art, shared a virtual moment with the Spider-Man origin story--Stan Lee's story and Steve Ditko's art--for Amazing Fantasy #15 (1962), featuring selected images from the drawings, and insights into the collaboration that led to the development of the teen superhero.

May 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Asian Americans & Visual Culture": A brief introduction to works primarily by Asian American creators, including photography and artists' prints and drawings from the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

May 6 2021: "Object Lesson: Artist Toni Lane's Pandemic Self-Portrait": Katherine Blood, Curator of Fine Prints, explored Toni Lane's artistic response to the Covid-19 pandemic, inviting the audience to think about self-portraiture and the relationship between creativity and adversity.

May 24 2021: "Intern Showcase: Discoveries through Pictures; African Americans in the Civil War Era": Stanford in Government Intern Anastasia Sotiropoulos presented her findings from exploring Prints & Photographs Division collections to reflect on how pictures portray the experience of African Americans in the Civil War.

June 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Commemorating Pride Month with LGBTQ+ Images": A brief introduction to photographs, posters and other pictures in the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division that relate to LGBTQ+ history and culture. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

June 3, 2021: "Object Lesson: What is a Blueprint?": Ryan Brubacher, Reference Librarian, examined hand drawings and blueprints of designs for a D.C. residence by George N. Ray while discussing architectural formats and the blueprint process. The conversation illuminated the practical appeal and aesthetic draw of the 19th century reproduction technology and its continuing legacy into the 21st century. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

July 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Photographic Processes": An introduction to some of the numerous photographic processes found in the Library's collections, from daguerreotypes to cyanotypes and salted paper to inkjet prints. Basic information was provided to help identify some of the types of photographs partipants might have at home. How to search the collections and access digitized content through the online catalog was also be covered using examples from the collection. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

July 1, 2021: "Object Lesson: What are the Sources of Architects' Ideas?": Mari Nakahara, Curator of Architecture, Design & Engineering, examined Vietnam Veterans Memorial designs to explore these questions: What are the sources of architects' ideas? How do they convert them to real structures? Mari introduced the simple but innovative ideas expressed in drawings, which led to the creation of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one of the most popular sites in the United States.

August 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Picturing Work and Labor Themes": A brief introduction to images relating to work, working people, and labor organizations and issues in the Prints & Photographs Division collections. Instruction covered library search tools, online resources, and how to prepare for a visit to the reading room. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

Sept. 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Fashion" From advertisements and prints to the catwalk and photoshoots, this orientation session looked at conducting fashion research in the Prints & Photographs Division collections. Instruction covered library search tools, online resources, and how to prepare for a visit to the reading room. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

Oct. 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Photography of Latin America and the Caribbean" Brief introduction to photography collections of Latin America and the Caribbean. Instruction covered library search tools, online resources, and how to prepare for a visit to the reading room. This event was not recorded, but you may send a request to the Prints & Photographs Division's Ask-a-Librarian for the pdf file with the slides shown at this session.

Nov. 2021: "Object Lesson: Lower Manhattan Expressway by architect Paul Rudolph" Gillian Mahoney, Library Technician, highlighted sketches and models of designs for the never-built Lower Manhattan Expressway by architect Paul Rudolph. The conversation invited viewers to imagine an alternative future for New York City, and explore how architects and urban planners hoped to make cities more “car-friendly” in the postwar years. In these ambitious designs, viewers saw Rudolph’s unrealized plans: to construct new buildings surrounding the highway, to demolish existing buildings, and to reimagine a landscape for an iconic neighborhood. (This session was not recorded.)

Series: "Double Take"

The "Double Take" series invited participants to join specialists from the Library's Prints and Photographs Division, to explore and unravel some of the mystery of intriguing images from the collections. Along the way, the experts shared research strategies, visual literacy techniques, and answered questions. For recordings of the sessions, see: Webinars and Workshops on the Library of Congress Teachers page.

  • Jan. 28, 2021, 4-5 pm EST: "White House or Not?" Presented by Kristi Finefield, Reference Specialist, Prints and Photographs Division
  • Feb. 18, 2021, 4-5 pm EST: "Why Was This Picture Made?" Presented by Sara Duke, Curator, Prints and Photographs Division
  • March 25, 2021, 4-5 pm EST: "When Was This Photograph Taken?" Presented by Kristi Finefield, Reference Specialist, Prints and Photographs Division
  • April 29, 2021, 4-5 pm EST: "How Should We Index This Image?" Presented by Arden Alexander, Cataloging Specialist, Prints and Photographs Division & Libby McKiernan, Processing Technician, Prints and Photographs Division

Specialized Orientations

Specialized orientations for groups or classes can be requested with the Specialized Group Orientations Request Form.

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  November 10, 2021
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