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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Light Reading: 1941

Light Reading: 1941

January 21, 1941. "Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park Plaza, New York. Popular Room." 5x7 safety negative by Gottscho-Schleisner. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

I've heard of these!

Back in the olden days, it took two days for Kindles to recharge, leaving people stranded with no way to read books - thus, the library was invented. I understand some still survive to this very day.

A little dab'll do ya!

Obviously didn't use enough Brylcreem to keep that cowlick down.


The chairs don't go with the tables at all

Wide Open spaces

I can't believe how much ROOM there is in this place! I work at the public library here in town and we have stuff crammed into our areas. Our town has grown, but because of budget restrictions, we haven't been able to expand much and we are a BUSY library!

Sir, Anthrolopogy is in the East Wing, Three Miles South...

The more I see of this library, the more I think they should have rented bicycles so you could get from one section to the other.

I prefer my libraries smaller and less a tribute to progress, or whatever the heck they were trying to do here.

That's a proper library.

Our local branch remodeled itself into a pale imitation of a Borders bookstore. Low shelves that hold only a fraction of the collection, tiny little tables that are no good for research, a superficial reference section, and only one lonely shelf of sale books. But they're very proud of their new overstuffed chairs. It's trying so hard to be hip and trendy that it's depressing.

The more things change

Looked the same when I was last there in 1984 (except clothing styles).


In library school I practiced pulling the pencil out of my bun and swinging my hair around. I'm saddened that no one has a bun.

Look at the time!

I better get my suit on and head to the library.

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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