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:
February 1940. Shoppers on a wet winter day in the business district of Iowa City. View full size. 35mm nitrate negative by Arthur Rothstein. Greetings to his daughter, Shorpy fan Annie Rothstein-Segan. "Dad would have loved to know that you feature his pictures so often," she writes. Thanks and Happy Holidays!
March 1943. Another night shot by Jack Delano, taken on his Santa Fe rail trip west from Chicago in 1943. His description of this scene: "Activity in the Santa Fe R.R. yard, Los Angeles. Due to blackout regulations, floodlights, switch lights, locomotive headlights and lights on the bridge in background have been shaded to cast light downward. Broad streaks of light are caused by paths of locomotive headlights, thin wavy lines by lamps of switchmen working in the yard." 4x5 Kodachrome transparency by Jack Delano. View full size.
June 18, 1916. Fall River, Massachusetts. Oscar Reynolds, 47 Benjamin Street. Fifteen years old. Sweeper in the mill. Two years in Osborne. Was in crap game [subject of another photo]. Note posture. Works overtime nearly every week. Had rather go to school. Does not like the mill. Has been sweeper two years and one shoulder droops. View full size. Photo and caption by Lewis Wickes Hine.