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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.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • SYPHILIS ... SIX OUT OF TEN CURED, 1941

Higher Education: 1949

Higher Education: 1949

February 19, 1949. "Lamont Library, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachu­setts. Fifth-level reading room. Coolidge, Shepley, Bulfinch & Abbott, architect." Large-format acetate negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

 

Not much changed...

I was in Lamont frequently in the late 1990s, and it looked much the same. The flooring certainly hadn't been replaced, and even the furniture looked quite similar, as I recall.

Cool library furniture

The light colored wooden tables and chairs remind me of public library furniture when I was a lad. Now, my local library is almost unrecognizable with computers, soft chairs, different color schemes and all the other whiz bang things we have today. No one whispers anymore, either!

40's Blandness

Blank walls with only industrial looking air vents to relieve the tedium, blond furniture except for the four nicely upholstered chairs, sharp edged reading carrels and fluorescent lights and acoustical tile ceiling in full force. Not one pot plant to soften the picture.

Serious young man

On the left, reading. Why is he frowning at his book? Is it his regular manner, the book's contents, or annoyance at the presence of the photographer?

 
THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG
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.

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