Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.
Photographs taken in and near Washington, D.C., by the National Photo Co., whose archive of thousands of negatives (mostly glass plates) and prints was donated by proprietor Herbert E. French to the Library of Congress in 1947.