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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 • CARNIVAL OF THE ARTS, 1937

L.O.C.: 1939

L.O.C.: 1939

Washington, D.C., c. 1939. "Library of Congress annex (John Adams building) and Folger Library from northwest." Photo by Theodor Horydczak. View full size.

 

You Are Here

The Adams Building (where I work -- I can even see my office window) is in the center and the Shakespeare Library to its left.

This building, once known as the Annex, was strictly built for book stacks and offices. There is a nice reading room on the fifth floor. Here is a post from Science, Technology & Business with a bit more information.

http://blogs.loc.gov/inside_adams/2009/11/inside-adams/

My dream job

Would be to work in either library.

I work at LC

Hi: this is a very nice picture. I think it was taken from the Supreme Court grounds facing the Jefferson Building.

Nowadays, readers get their cards in the Madison Building, which had not been built until the 1970s (finished in 1980).

The layout of the grounds has not changed. Love the old cars.

I have to show my coworkers...

A few parking spaces left!

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the busiest day of the year at the Library of Congress.

Been There

It's pretty much a warren of little rooms and convoluted hallways in a rather industrial cream color. The entrance lobby is kind of nice, though. If you're a resident of the US, this is the building you go to in order to pick up your LOC library card -- you fill out a form, get your picture taken, offer proof of residence, and you get an official ID.

What's awesome about that is that you now have access to the mother lode of reading material in the big giant reading room next door. You know that gorgeous dome they like to show pictures of? You get to go in there, ask the librarians to get the books you need, and you can sit in that gorgeous space and just absorb the ambiance. Much better than doing the guided tour, which takes you through a closed off set of balconies a couple of floors up.

Unfortunately, I lost my card when my wallet was stolen. I loved that card. Oh, well, next time I'm in D.C...

 
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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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