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.
The Petersburg, Virginia, courthouse in 1865. From photographs of the main Eastern theater of war, the siege of Petersburg, June 1864-April 1865. Glass plate negative, right half of stereograph pair. Photographer unknown. View full size.
May 1, 1926. Washington, D.C. Eight-oar shell crew of the Capital Athletic Club on the Potomac between the Francis Scott Key and Aqueduct bridges. National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.
December 1937. At 703 M Street in Washington we have Madame LaBey, reader of palms and dispenser of advice "on all affairs of life." She's clairvoyant, but ring the doorbell anyway. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by John Vachon.
Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.