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:
New York circa 1920. "Caruso family." A portrait made the year before the legendary tenor's untimely death: Enrico Caruso with wife Dorothy Park Benjamin and their infant daughter Gloria, along with the family of his son Rodolfo Caruso. 5x7 glass negative, George Grantham Bain Collection. View full size.
September 18, 1929. "Mr. & Mrs. Lindbergh." Aviator Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh, four months after they married, at Bolling Field en route to South America. Charles, the pioneering aviator, was probably the most famous person in America at the time; Anne would become an accomplished aviator in her own right, as well as one of the best-selling writers of the 20th century. Some three years after this picture was taken, the tragedy of their child's murder helped define the modern phenomenon of mass-media super-celebrity. From Anne's February 2001 obituary in the New York Times: "Nothing, not even Lindbergh's 1927 landing in Paris, had prepared them for the carnival of reporters, photographers, con artists, curiosity-seekers, vandals and crazy people who invaded their lives after their baby was kidnapped. Americans would not experience a similar flood of publicity until the O. J. Simpson murder trial of the 1990s." National Photo Company Collection glass negative. View full size.