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.
Vintage photos of:
1935. King William County, Virginia. "Waterville, vicinity of Sweet Hall." Built by Tidewater planter James Ruffin in 1794 on the Pamunkey River, this home served as a tavern for Ruffin's Ferry. Currently known as Windsor Shades. 8x10 inch safety negative by Frances Benjamin Johnston for the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South. One of thousands of large-format images of dilapidated mansions, decaying farmhouses and tipsy cabins recorded by this pioneering photographer as she traveled the South during the Depression, documenting a fast-disappearing inventory of Early American architecture. View full size.