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Toni Frissell Collection

Photographs and papers

Manuscript Division

Prints and Photographs Division

Collection digitized? Generally, no. Selected images are included here to give a sample of the collection.

In 1970 Toni Frissell donated to the Library a massive collection of photographs, negatives, and manuscripts documenting her distinguished photographic career of nearly forty years. While Frissell photographed subjects as diverse as the Berlin Wall and the 1968 Republican National Convention, she is perhaps best known for her pioneering fashion photography and her informal portraits of the famous and powerful in the United States and Europe, including Winston Churchill, Eleanor Roosevelt, and John and Jacqueline Kennedy. She was a staff photographer for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and Sports Illustrated, and published photographically illustrated versions of A Child's Garden of Verses (1944), [Bermuda]:The Happy Island (1946), Mother Goose (1948) and The King Ranch, 1939-1944 (1975).

The collection contains approximately 270,000 black-and-white negatives, 42,000 color transparencies, 25,000 enlargement prints, as well as proof sheets, not all of which have been processed for general use. Frissell's own selection of about 1,800 of her best and most representative photographs (LOT 12452), has been processed for general use, as have all photographs related to life or scenes in Washington, D.C., and many of the photographs she took in Europe during World War II. The groups of images and some items for which copy photography has been requested can be searched in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. The Washington, D.C., related groups are also described in Washingtoniana Photographs: Collections in the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1989). Selections from the Frissell Collection are published in Photographs, 1933-1967, Toni Frissell (New York: Doubleday in association with the Library of Congress, 1994). The unprocessed portion of the collection is available by appointment for scholarly use.

The accompanying personal papers of Toni Frissell have been transferred to the Manuscript Division.

Note: Information for this entry was compiled in the late 1970's for inclusion in: Special Collections in the Library of Congress: A Selective Guide. Compiled by Annette Melville. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1980. The entry was revised in 1998 and 2012.


U.S. Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, "Acquisition Notes," Library of Congress Information Bulletin, v. 30, May 27, 1971: 303-304.


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