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:
1956. "Segregation in South Carolina. Separate and unequal recreation facilities." I've looked at hundreds of photos from this assignment and would have to agree -- the white folks in general seem to be having a lot less fun in their hopelessly boring bars, uptight country clubs and over-chlorinated swimming pools. Eventually they got wise. Color transparency by Margaret Bourke-White. View full size.
"Better 'Ole Wedding." Informal nuptials circa 1922 at the Better 'Ole, a Greenwich Villagey "bohemian" nightspot in Washington, D.C., that, while short-lived, made its mark. In 1935 the Washington Post called it "the first real night club of the so-called 'night club era.' " The article continues: "It was started by Charles W. Smith, now the noted black-and-white artist, had a membership charge of $1 and was located on the second floor of a three-story building at 1515 U Street. A hot colored dance orchestra held forth in a room decorated with drapes in a sort of cubist style." More here. National Photo Co. glass negative. View full size.