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.
Vintage photos of:
January 1939. "Unemployed miner. Herrin, Illinois." Medium format negative by Arthur Rothstein for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.
Williamson County, Illinois, once produced 11 million tons of coal per year, and led the state in output. Since 1923, output has steadily declined until now it falls short of 2 million tons. At one time, sixteen mine-whistles blowing to work could be heard from the center of Herrin. Now only two mines are running and those will probably be abandoned within the next year. The Herrin office of the United Mine Workers of America was once the most active in the state. Today it is no longer self-sustaining. These pictures were taken in the Herrin UMWA office on a day when the mines were not working. They show the type of miners still employed in Williamson County but faced with the almost certain prospect of being discarded by the industry when the last mine is closed. (A.R., Jan. 1939)
"Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who has done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice."-- President Trump, 2/1/2017
Washington, D.C., circa 1880. "Frederick Douglass (1818-1895), African-American abolitionist, seated, three-quarters length portrait." Wet plate stereograph negative, Brady-Handy Collection, Library of Congress. View full size.
Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952), best known on these pages as a prolific chronicler of Southern architecture, was also something of a feminist firebrand in her younger years. The photographer is seen here at age 32 in a triple-threat sendup of the 1890s "New Woman" -- smoking, drinking, showing some leg.
Self-Portrait as "New Woman," 1896. "Frances Benjamin Johnston, seated in front of fireplace, facing left, holding cigarette in one hand and beer stein in the other, in her Washington, D.C., studio." Gelatin silver print. View full size.