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Visual Material

Image databases and websites

Tools for locating online drawings, photographs, and maps:

  • Library of Congress Collection of Prints and Photographs:
    • Architecture, Design & Engineering Drawings
      Drawings, primarily for sites and structures in the U.S. (especially Washington, D.C.), as well as Europe and Mexico, mostly by American architects and architectural firms. Most cataloged in groups by project. About 40,000 drawings, ca. 3.900 records. Some digitized. Date:1600 - 1989.
    • Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South
      Noted architectural photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) created a systematic record of early American buildings and gardens called the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (CSAS), which pictures an estimated 1,700 structures and sites in rural and urban areas of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, and to a lesser extent Florida, Mississippi, and West Virginia. (More than 7,100 photographs, all are digitized.) Date:1926 - 1944.
    • Detroit Publishing Company
      Chiefly scenes in U.S. and Latin America, including landscapes, cityscapes, historic sites, architecture, vessels, industry, etc. (About 28,200 glass negatives, glass transparencies, and color photomechanical prints. Most images are digitized) Date:1885 - 1930.
    • Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives
      Photos documenting rural and urban conditions and lifestyles in the U.S. and its territories; a few in Canada. Includes negatives the FSA/OWI did not print, many of which lack identifying information. (About 175,000 photographs: about 171,000 negatives. Most are digitized. Date:1935 - 1945
    • Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey
      Measured drawings, photographs, and written historical and architectural information for structures and sites dating from the 17th-20th centuries in the U.S. and its territories. (Documentation for more than 38,000 sites and structures; All images are digitized.) Date:1930 - 2010.
    • Panoramic Photographs
      U.S. and foreign sites, showing cities and towns, as well as events, industries, and group portraits (About 4,200 photographs.) Date:1880 - 1930. Most images are digitized.


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David Greene
Humanities & Social Sciences Library

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