SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
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6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
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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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Caroline's Kitchen: 1939

Caroline's Kitchen: 1939

July 1939. Caroline Atwater standing in the kitchen door of her log house. Orange County, North Carolina. View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.

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Today's Top 5

Photo quality

Thanks Ken, i read the whole story about your way to improve the quality at the "Jailhouse Rock: 1941" photograph

great work from you guys (at least i found a name new to me: Ken, most of the time i see Dave!).


I think you have to consider that Lange was almost invariably using a view camera. Most digital cameras are 35mm or less. Large format can be had for many thousands of dollars. Digital images are every bit as sharp as those of Lange's time - if you know how to develop them.

Caroline's Kitchen

This photograph is just plain exquisite. Shorpy has an embarrassment of pictorial riches, but even in such estimable company, this is a standout.

I am veering far too close to obsequious gushing, so let me just say once again, "Great job, guys!"

It almost makes me cry

Looking at the detail in her dress, the wood - everything makes it so clear how much we are losing right now in this stage of digital photography. I look at the photos here daily and I sometimes feel sad that although digital has brought us an explosion of photographs - it lacks the richness of a photo like this.

Aunt Caroline

I want to go inside and have a cuppa cawfee with Aunt Caroline. And listen to her reminisce about when she was a girl.


Don't forget to go to bed every now and then!
Thanks for the great job you do at Shorpy (day & night), and your nice comments!
How is it possible that all your pictures have such a great resolution? If I Google around and come at several places about American history I will find (quite often) the same picture as you deliver us, but never at such a resolution.
Pure magic! Could you reveal the secret behind that?

[The original photographs don't lack for resolution. In fact the large-format cameras of 100 years ago generated higher resolution photographs than 35mm film and today's digital SLRs. The secret is taking the time to work with the high-resolution scans in Photoshop to pull out the details - Ken]

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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