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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: Various photo collections from the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, Washington D.C.

About Library of Congress Photo Collection, 1840-2000

This database contains a collection of approximately 340,000 public domain photographs and prints. The pictures have been collected from a variety of sources and places but today are held by the U.S. Library of Congress' Prints and Photographs Division. This database includes prints and photos from 11 collections contained within the Prints and Photograph Division. These collections are:

  • Bain Collection

  • Brady-Handy Collection

  • Detroit Publishing Company

  • Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information – Color Photographs

  • Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information – Black-and-White Negatives

  • Gottscho-Schleisner Collection

  • Miscellaneous Items in High Demand

  • National Child Labor Committee Collection

  • Photochrom Prints

  • Popular Graphic Arts

  • Stereograph Cards

This database covers the years 1840-2000 and contains photos and prints from throughout the world, however, the majority are from the U.S. You may search for a photo or print by year or place, and/or by using keywords or names that may be found in the title or notes sections of the pictures.

Info About Searching this Collection:

The original metadata that came with these images from the Library of Congress did not include fields for COUNTRY, STATE, or YEAR. To enhance usability, Ancestry.com has taken the extra step to extract these fields from the original metadata and has added them to both the record pages and searchable index. Where multiple results were extracted for COUNTRY, STATE and YEAR, every result was included in the respective field. For example, an image that lists both Texas and New York in the metadata would list both of these states in the STATE field. Although this may result in some false positive searches, the added fielding and search functionality will greatly enhance the user's ability to locate relevant content across the collection.

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