Sámi family gathered in front of Lavvus somewhere along the Kanstadfjord near Lødingen, Nordland (Norway), ca. 1896.

Incredible historic photos at the Library of Congress Flickr

Incredible historic photos at the Library of Congress Flickr

The art of photography is a blip on the radar as far as history is concerned, considering it’s less than 200 years old. First photographs were often blurry, although we must admit they were huge accomplishments in and of themselves. That being said, coming across well-preserved, clear historic images is a rare treasure. The US Library of Congress has gone through the laborious process of digitizing tens of thousands of historic images, all of which are available online at its Flickr stream.

We’ve put together 50 of our favorites from the 1940s on color transparency, photochrom prints from around the world, Civil War ambrotypes and three-color glass separations of the Russian Empire. We highly recommend you reserve at least an hour of your time to head on over to the Library of Congress Photostream on Flickr and look through over 20,000 amazing historic photographs. Other great sets not to be missed include FSA Administration favorites, American Baseball and the Jazz Age.

1940s in Color (slides):

Shepherd with his horse and dog on Gravelly Range, Madison County, Montana, August, 1942, by Russell Lee

Woman aircraft worker, Vega Aircraft Corporation, Burbank, Calif. Shown checking electrical assemblies, June, 1942, by David Bransby

Keep reading


Top: Joseph Cornell, Untitled (Pink Palace) ca. 1948, San Francisco MoMA
Middle: Charles Simic, from Dime-Store Alchemy: The Art of Joseph Cornell
Bottom: Still from Grand Budapest Hotel, opening March 7 in NYC and LA and March 14 elsewhere.

At his talk at the New York Public Library, Wes Anderson cited photochrom prints collection at the Library of Congress as inspiration for his hotel—but we couldn’t help but notice an uncanny resemblance between it and Joseph Cornell’s own “oneiric playhouse. A phantom palace in a forest of bare trees, hoar frost and night,” Pink Palace.