SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Boston Public: 1895

Boston Public: 1895

Boston, Massachusetts, circa 1895. "Main entrance, Boston Public Library." Red all over. Photo by Charles Pollock. View full size.

On Shorpy:
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Note the signs of the zodiac inlayed into the floor. This library is a gem located in Copley Square, Boston. The front of the building faces the famous Trinity Church. Two of the many buildings that make Boston such a great city. This library is not a museum it is a working library.


Architecture. Beautiful photograph.

Upward and upward

Climbing steps used to be the sign that you were entering someplace special. Disability awareness has put an end to that. And we can be thankful. If you're not, just wait a few years.

Before our world of clichés

Literacy was held in very high esteem.

Entrance to a land of magic!

Gorgeous! It draws you in to all the exciting books inside.

Mark of Civilization

An edifice worthy of the written word. Can you imagine today's taxpayers approving such an effort?

I wonder if we are losing something as we implement e-books? Will our libraries have the look of a video game store?


I usually don't care much for toning with any significant color change, but it's very effective here. Was that in the original?

[Yes. -Dave]

Remarkable Dynamic Range

Just have to ask, given the great quality of the image - did you run it through an HDR app before posting?

[No. -Dave]

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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