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Tours and Orientations - October 2022

Regularly scheduled orientations to the Prints & Photographs Division are offered virtually through the Finding Pictures series. These virtual presentations introduce the Prints & Photographs Division collections, services and search tools, and feature staff taking a closer look at an object or group of objects from the collections -- a chance to converse and appreciate together!

Individuals requiring accommodations for any of our events are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected]


There are no Finding Pictures presentations scheduled for October. Please check back soon for more information about the exciting content we have planned for November.

You can save these dates in your calendar:

  • Thursday, November 3rd, 2022, 3:00 pm (EDT) A celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Jefferson Building, featuring Kristi Finefield and newly digitized original architectural drawings of the building.
  • Wednesday, November 16th, 2022, 3:00pm (EDT) A presentation featuring the Robert Blackburn Collection and recent conservation efforts with discussion from Katherine Blood and Basia Nosek.

We're also happy to highlight an upcoming presentation through the LC Women's History and Gender Studies Discussion Group, that is near and dear to P&P:

Wednesday, October 26th, 2022, 2 pm (EDT) Recently retired P&P Curator of Popular and Applied Graphic Arts, Martha Kennedy, will discuss the cartoonist Nina Allender, and her drawings in the Prints & Photographs Division.

You can always find more events on the Library of Congress Events Calendar.

View upward from under the colonnade.
The James Madison Building colonnade. Color photo by Shawn Miller/Library of Congress, 2021.

Specialized Orientations

Specialized orientations for groups or classes can be requested with the Specialized Group Orientations Request Form.

Recent Orientations and Webinars

Slides for most of our virtual presentations are available in PDF format by request through the Ask-A-Librarian service.

September 2022: "Finding Pictures: Art of the Book": Curators Adam Silvia and Sara Duke featured photographically illustrated books and illustrations for books from the Prints & Photographs Division collections. Search techniques were highlighted along with related online resources.

August 2022: "Finding Pictures: Latina/Latino Graphic Art & Artists": A visual exploration of dynamic contemporary artist prints, posters, and drawings from the Library’s collections. Hispanic Reading Room reference librarian Maria Daniela Thurber and Prints & Photographs Division curator Katherine Blood featured works created by a variety of artists and highlighted online resources and search techniques. Recording available.

August 2022: "Object Lesson: Landscapes through the Lens of Laura Gilpin": In this Object Lesson, Curator Micah Messenheimer explored how Gilpin both drew on and broke from tradition to present a deeply human landscape through the lens of her camera. Recording available soon.

July 2022: "Finding Pictures: Using and Making Online Finding Aids": Archivists provided a behind-the-scenes introduction to the Prints & Photographs Division’s online finding aids, documents that describe and inventory archival collections. The presentation covered using finding aids to search our collections as well as a deep dive into the tools we use to create web-based archival finding aids.

July 2022: "Object Lesson: The Work Projects Administration (WPA) Poster Collection": This collection is a Library favorite and totals over 900 posters that put artists back to work for travel, tourism, recreation, and public health programs among others. The presentation from Reference Librarian, Hanna Soltys, discussed collection history, the different types of posters you can find, and how to download high resolution images. Recording available.

June 2022: "Finding Pictures: Orientation to the Prints & Photographs Division": This general orientation session highlighted a wide range of pictorial formats and focused especially on the digital accessibility of images available to all patrons. Topics covered include search tips and tricks, research and collection guides, ways to engage with the collections online and how to prepare for a future trip to the reading room. Recording available.

June 2022: "Object Lesson: Fan Art as a Record of Popular Culture": From the Shakespeare fandom among 19th century Pre-Raphaelite artists to the international phenomenon of the Dark Souls games of the 2010s, the proliferation of fan art for these works reflects their cultural impact. In this Object Lesson, Archivist Maggie McCready explored the research value of fan art using examples from the Fine Print and Small Press Expo collections. Recording available soon.

May 2022: "Object Lesson: Gadgets in the Harris & Ewing Collection": The photograph collection of Washington, D.C.-based photography studio Harris & Ewing, active during the first half of the 20 century, contains a surprising number of images showing gadgets. These include new inventions, updated technology, and devices created by the federal government to test or produce goods and services. In this talk, staff explored some of these gadgets, including some unidentified mysteries. Recording available.

April 2022: "Object Lesson Series Celebrating the 110th Anniversary of the Cherry Blossom Tree Gift and US-Japan Friendship": Mari Nakahara and Katherine Blood, curators and book authors of Cherry Blossom: Sakura Collections from the Library of Congress, offered close-up explorations of visual art and related stories—deepening several key themes from their book and beyond: Exploring Cherry Blossom Varieties, One Man's Life Dedicated to Peace, and Appreciations in Japanese Visual Art. Recordings available.

April 2022: "Finding Pictures: Deaf History": In honor of Deaf History month this webinar showcased photographs and prints of Deaf people, notable figures, education, careers, and activities shown in the Prints and Photographs Division historical collections. The first half of the presentation was in American Sign Language with closed captioning and voice interpretation for non-signing viewers. The second half was in English with an interpreter using ASL as well as closed captioning. Recording available.

March 2022: "Object Lesson: Not an Ostrich and Other Images from America’s Library": A sneak-peek at the Library of Congress’s upcoming exhibition, Not an Ostrich: and Other Images from America’s Library. Photography curator Micah Messenheimer looked at Doris Ulmann’s striking portrait of Maum Duck, made for a book about formerly-enslaved people in South Carolina‘s Gullah community. Curator Adam Silvia talked about photojournalist Margaret Bourke-White, shown courageously holding her camera in one of the eagles high up on the Chrysler Building, then the tallest building in the world. Recording available.

March 2022: "Finding Pictures: Women Architects and Designers": This orientation session offered an introduction to the visual collections created by and related to women architects and designers, including Ray Eames, Chloethiel Woodard Smith, Katharine Lamb Tait, and other women creators in a variety of design disciplines. Instruction covered collection highlights, searching library catalogs and finding aids, research guides and how to prepare for a future visit to the reading room.

February 2022: "Object Lesson: The Changing Face of Washington, D.C. through the U. S. News and World Report Magazine Photograph Collection": Kristi Finefield, Reference Specialist, presented a tour of 1950s, 1960s and 1970s Washington, D.C. through the lens of staff photographers for U.S. News & World Report (USN & WR) Magazine. A collection of nearly 1.2 million photographs dating from the 1950s to the 1980s, the USN & WR Magazine Photograph Collection not only provides images of the news and political activities of the day, but also shares the changing face of Washington, D.C. Urban renewal, the federal government's expanding footprint, public transit, renovations, expansions and seemingly endless construction shaped the city we know today. Recording available.

February 2022: "Finding Pictures: African Americans in the Military": This orientation session offered a brief introduction to images in the collections that relate to the history of African American participation in the U.S. military from the Civil War through the Vietnam War, with a focus on photography. Instruction covered library search tools, online resources, and how to prepare for a future visit to the reading room.

January 2022: "Finding Pictures: New to See and Discover at the Library of Congress": An introduction to newly processed and recently acquired collections in the Prints and Photographs Division, including the Ruthven Deane Collection of Bookplates, fashion photography and photojournalism by Toni Frissell, and documentation of the Black Lives Matter movement. Instruction also covered search tips, finding aids, blog posts, and how to prepare for a future visit to the reading room.

Previous Virtual Presentations

Virtual presentation topics from 2021-2022. Slides for most of our virtual presentations are available in PDF format by request through the Ask-A-Librarian service.

December 2021: "Subject Indexing Pictures for All"

December 2021: "Object Lesson: Wartime Sewing Culture Through FSA Images"

November 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Native American History and Visual Culture"

November 2021: "Object Lesson: Lower Manhattan Expressway by architect Paul Rudolph"

October 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Photography of Latin America and the Caribbean"

September 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Fashion"

August 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Picturing Work and Labor Themes"

July 2021: "Object Lesson: What are the Sources of Architects' Ideas?"

July 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Photographic Processes"

June 2021: "Object Lesson: What is a Blueprint?"

June 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Commemorating Pride Month with LGBTQ+ Images"

May 2021: "Intern Showcase: Discoveries through Pictures; African Americans in the Civil War Era"

May 2021: "Object Lesson: Artist Toni Lane's Pandemic Self-Portrait"

May 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Asian Americans & Visual Culture"

April 2021: "Object Lesson: Spider-Man"

April 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: WPA Posters"

March 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Women in Sports"

February 2021: "Prints & Photographs Virtual Orientation: Basic Printmaking Processes"


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  September 22, 2022
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