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.
Colorized version of Ben Shahn's photograph of Bill Hensley, a mountain fiddler from Asheville, North Carolina. Like many of our local "hillbilly" music makers, Bill Hensley was probably self-taught, could not read music but could play tunes that were handed down through families and friends for years. The strong Scots-Irish influence in local music is still evident today. View full size.