Suggestions for finding photographs, maps and building plans
The American Memory Collection at the Library of Congress has a startling number of photographs, maps and prints that can be accessed and searched online. I am listing a few of the collection titles and have included verbatim the descriptions of the collection content. I have also added some sites that are outside the Library of Congress, merely to illustrate the ease of finding images online for almost any ‘historical landscape’.
Another way to locate images is to start with the Google image search page and follow the images that turn up back to the original website cited by Google. Remember that your students should put a copyright notice under any picture they are using for a digital presentation; using Google as a source is not correct, so make sure they have followed the Google lead to the source.
1. American landscape and Architectural Design 1850-1920
“This collection of approximately 2,800 lantern slides represents an historical view of American buildings and landscapes built during the period 1850-1920. It represents the work of Harvard faculty, such as Frederick Law Olmsted Jr., Bremer W. Pond, and James Sturgis Pray, as well as that of prominent landscape architects throughout the country. The collection offers views of cities, specific buildings, parks, estates and gardens, including a complete history of Boston’s Park System. In addition to photographs, views of locations around the country include plans, maps, and models. Hundreds of private estates from all over the United States are represented in the collection through contemporary views of their houses and gardens (including features such as formal gardens, terraces, and arbors).”
2. The Northern Great Plains 1820-1990
“These collections from the Institute for Regional Studies at North Dakota State University contain 900 photographs of rural and small town life at the turn of the century. Highlights include images of sod homes and the people who built them; images of farms and the machinery that made them prosper; and images of one-room schools and the children that were educated in them.”
3. Small town America 1850-1920
“12,000 photographs of the Mid-Atlantic states New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut from the 1850s to the 1910s, from the Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views at the New York Public Library. The views show buildings and street scenes in cities, towns, and villages as well as natural landscapes. They also depict agriculture, industry, transportation, homes, businesses, local celebrations, natural disasters, people, and costumes.”
4. Rio Grande Historical Collections
A collection of searchable photographs documenting life in the American southwest, especially in New Mexico and along the Rio Grande. Searchable New Mexico
5. Tacoma Public Library’s Photography Archive of Washington and the Pacific Northwest http://search.tpl.lib.wa.us/images/
“The Tacoma Public Library’s extensive photograph collection conveys a rich sense of Northwest history by documenting the social, industrial, commercial, and agricultural growth and development of Washington and the Pacific Northwest.”
6. Panoramic Photographs Taking the Long View, 1851-1991 http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/panoramic_photo/
“The Panoramic Photograph Collection contains approximately four thousand images featuring American cityscapes, landscapes, and group portraits. These panoramas offer an overview of the nation, its enterprises and its interests, with a focus on the start of the twentieth century when the panoramic photo format was at the height of its popularity. Subject strengths include: agricultural life; beauty contests; disasters; engineering work such as bridges, canals and dams; fairs and expositions; military and naval activities, especially during World War I; the oil industry; schools and college campuses, sports, and transportation. The images date from 1851 to 1991 and depict scenes in all fifty states and the District of Columbia. More than twenty foreign countries and a few U.S. territories are also represented.”