The Burns Archive — New York
The 700,000 plus vintage photographs in theBurns Collection are a unique source of historic visual documentation. The Collection is particularly strong in the following areas:African-American photographs , representing one of the largest compilations in the U.S.;war images from the Crimean through WWII , including the largest private collection ofwounded Civil War soldiers ;Judaica, including images of people, villages and rituals of Eastern European and North African cultures; andmedical photography. TheCriminology portion of the collection includes photographs of jails and criminals, and is particularly strong in artistic images.
CaliforniaHeritage Collection (Berkeley, California)
The California Heritage Collection is an online archive of more than 30,000 images illustrating California ‘s history and culture, from the collections of theBancroft Library at the University of California, Berkeley . Selected from nearly two hundred individual collections, this unique resource uses the latest online archiving techniques to highlight the rich themes of California ‘s history.
California Museumof Photography (Riverside, California)
The collection houses: the Keystone-Mast Collection, the world’s largest, most complete holding of vintagestereographs with 100,000 vintage black and white file prints and over 200,000 original stereoscopic negatives (mainly glass-plate), including historic photographs of Ellis Island, immigrant life, and world’s fairs. The museum’s extensive collection of Kodak Brownies, complete with a searchable database. The Harry Pidgeon Collection, which consists of approximately 1,500 glass plate negatives. The Olindo Ceccarini Collection, the majority of which are of actresses such as Shirley Temple, Joan Crawford, and Ginger Rogers.
Center for Creative Photography (Tucson, Arizona)
The Center for Creative Photography holds more archives and individual works by 20th-century North American photographers than any other museum in the nation. These holdings include aresearch collection featuring the archives of over 60 photographers—Ansel Adams, Lola Alvarez Bravo, Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, W. Eugene Smith, and Edward Weston among them. The archives include photographs, negatives, albums, work prints, manuscripts, audio-visual material, contact sheets, correspondence and memorabilia.
The George Eastman House (Rochester, New York)
The photography collection includes more than 400,000 photographs and negatives dating from the invention of photography to the present day. The collection embraces numerous landmark processes, objects of great rarity, and monuments of art history that trace the evolution of the medium as a technology, as a means of scientific and historical documentation, and as one of the most potent and accessible means of personal expression of the modern era. More than 14,000 photographers are represented in the collection, including virtually all the major figures in the history of the medium. The collection includes original vintage works produced by nearly every process and printing medium employed.
Getty Images e Hulton Archive
Getty Images offers over 60 million archival images and over 15,000 hours of historical footage for a collection that documents the last two centuries, along with ephemera dating back to the advent of the printing press. It includes:
One collections of photography and illustrative material containing over 40 million images, covering prints, engravings, cartoons, illustrations, maps, periodicals and other ephemera.
Time & Life Pictures
A collection of striking imagery that has adorned the pages of Time, Life and other Time Inc. publications, documenting events in politics, culture, celebrities and the arts throughout the 20th century.
Including Anne Frank House, CBS Archive, George Eastman House, Museum of the City of New York, Metronome, The New York Times Archive and more.
Archive Films library includes stock footage of newsreels, Hollywood feature films, silent features, classic comedies, home movies, cartoons, sports films, time-lapse, vintage documentaries and industrial and educational films.
John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, & Marketing History (Duke University, North Carolina)
The Center encompasses several major collections of archival material, as well as smaller collections of both published and archival materials. The John Hartman Center for Sales & Marketing history holds vast holdings of 19th & 20th century advertising collections. The outdoor Archive is the most extensive resource available for the history of the advertising industry.
International Center of Photography (New York City)
The Permanent Collection at the International Center of Photography houses over 60,000 photographs. The collection spans the history of the photographic medium, from Daguerreotypes and real photo postcards to iris prints. The collection is strongest in its holdings of American and European reportage and documentation of the 1930s through the 1960s. The collection also comprises large bodies work from photographers such as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lisette Model, Chim (David Seymour), Elliott Erwitt, and Harold Edgerton.
The Klemantaski Collection (Stamford, Connecticut)
The Klemantaski Collection is one of the world’s largest and most varied libraries of historic motor sports photography. The Collection supplies its images to photograph and car collectors and enthusiasts, racing car restorers, authors and publishers worldwide.
Library of Congress (Washington, D.C.)
The Prints & Photographs collections today number over 13.6 million images. These include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people.
The Print & Photographs online catalog: http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/catalog.html
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Photographic Collection (New York City)
The Metropolitan Museum ‘s Department of Photographs surveys the history of photography from its invention in the 1830s to the present. The collection of more than 15,000 works is largely European and American, with some representation of other parts of the world, particularly Japan . The cornerstones of the Metropolitan’s department are four important collections: The Rubel Collection, with superb examples of British photography from the first three decades of the medium’s history; The Alfred Stieglitz Collection, with masterpieces of the Photo-Secession movement (1902–17) and related Pictorialist photography; The Ford Motor Company Collection of American and European photography between the World Wars; and the personal archive of the American photographer Walker Evans (1903–1975).
The Museum of the City of New York (New York City)
The collection has more than 500,000 prints and negatives that document New York City and its inhabitants from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Of particular interest are theByron Collection of more than 22,000 images chronicling New York life from 1892 through 1942; theJacob Riis collection, which reveals the Lower East Side’s poverty and squalor in the late nineteenth century;Berenice Abbott’s stunning Changing New York, a WPA photographic project, documenting New York City in the 1930s; and New York before the War, based on other WPA-sponsored Federal Art Project negatives, which add another 900 images of New York in the 1930s.
U.S. National Archives & Records Administration ( NARA ), Washington, D.C.
NARA maintains the historically valuable archival materials of the U.S. Government dating from the Revolutionary War era to the recent past.
The Archival Research Catalog (ARC) is the online catalog of NARA’s nationwide holdings in the Washington, DC area, Regional Archives and Presidential Libraries.
Over 124.000 digitized historical documents, photographs, and images are accessible online in ARC:
National Museum of American History’s Archive Center (Washington, D.C.)
The Archives Center supports the mission of the National Museum of American History by preserving and providing access to documentary evidence of America’s past. The Archives Center holds significant collections that consist largely of photographs. Most notable are the Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, 1895-1921 (28,000 images); the Donald H. Sultner-Welles Collection, 1951-1980 (87,000 color transparencies taken around the world); and the Arthur d’Arazien Industrial Photographs, ca. 1939-1984, consisting of thousands of black and white and color photographs by a leading industrial and advertising photographer. Many of the manuscript and advertising collections include photographs as well.
National Museum of Natural History – Smithsonian Institute (Washington, D.C.): National Anthropological Archives
The archives collect and preserve historical and contemporary anthropological materials that document the world’s cultures and the history of the discipline. The collections include the Smithsonian’s earliest attempts to document North American Indian cultures (begun in 1846 under Joseph Henry) and the research reports and records of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1879-1964), the U.S. National Museum’s Division of Ethnology, its Division of Physical Anthropology, and River Basin Survey archaeology. The NAA also maintains the records of the Smithsonian’s Department of Anthropology and of dozens of professional organizations, such as the American Anthropological Association, the American Ethnological Society, and the Society for American Archaeology.
New York Public Library
About 600,000 images selected from collection strengths in the arts, humanities, performing arts and sciences, including artwork, maps, photographs, prints, manuscripts, illustrated books, and printed ephemera. Comprised of illustrations from books, newspapers and magazines as well as photographs, prints and postcards, the Picture Collection is a visual resource, encyclopedic in scope and arranged by subject.
The Photography Collection contains nearly 300,000 original photographic prints, from the medium’s 150 years history.
The collection include: the Robert N. Dennis Collection of Stereoscopic Views, the Spalding Baseball Collection, the Pageant of America Collection, major collections of work by Berenice Abbott and Lewis Hine, and the Romana Javitz Collection which features works by Alice Austen, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Minor White, among others.
With its roots in the Library’s nineteenth century origins, the photography collection holds important 19th-century topographical work by Maxime du Camp, Desire Charnay, Francis Frith, Edouard-Denis Baldus and John Thomson, plus important 19th-century photographers of the western United States, such as William Henry Jackson, Timothy O’Sullivan, and Carleton E. Watkins.
The collection’s documentary focus encompasses social documentation, portraits, topographical views, cityscapes, and events in subject areas that complement the bibliographic strengths of the Humanities and Social Sciences Library.
The Photography Collection also manages a bibliographic collection of 14,000 volumes on photography, which are accessible through the Art & Architecture Collection and the General Research Division.
(Online catalog of The Research Libraries: http://catnyp.nypl.org/ )
The Northwestern University Library
It contains the digital collection of Edward Curtis’s work “The North American Indian”. The Library has scanned both the text and the images, which can be viewed and browsed on the website. The photographs can be downloaded and reproduced without copyright restrictions.
This is a digital library of high quality images and footage illustrating more than 200 years of American history. High resolution images and film footage are available for professional and personal licensing. Of particular interest is the Meserve-Kunhardt Collection, specialized in 19th century photographs .
Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (University of Austin, Texas)
Over five million prints and negatives, supplemented by manuscripts, archives and memorabilia of significant photographers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Also included is a study collection of some 400 pieces of original photographic apparatus, as well as a growing library of over 35,000 books and journals on the theory, technique, art and history of photography. In addition to the world’s first permanent photograph from nature, the 1826 creation of the pioneer, Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, the Collections feature significant holdings of such notable early photographers as William Henry Fox Talbot, D.O. Hill and Robert Adamson, Roger Fenton, Julia Margaret Cameron, Lewis Carroll, O.G. Rejlander, Henry Peach Robinson, Peter Henry Emerson, Paul Martin, and Christina Broom, among others. This range and diversity extends throughout the twentieth century with artists such as Alvin Langdon Coburn, E.O. Goldbeck, Walker Evans, Russell Lee, Sir Cecil Beaton, Raymond Moore, Fritz Henle, Ruth Robertson, Eliot Elisofon, and David Douglas Duncan.
Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum (Hyde Park, New York)
Emilio Segre Visual Archives (College Park, Maryland)
A collection of some 25,000 historical photographs, slides, lithographs, engravings, and other visual materials, the Emilio Segrè Visual Archives is part of theNiels Bohr Library of theCenter for History of Physics at theAmerican Institute of Physics. The collection focuses on American physicists and astronomers of the twentieth century, but includes many scientists in Europe and elsewhere, in other fields related to physics, and in earlier times. Currently there are thousands of images available online.
The USGeological Survey Photographic Archive (Lakewood, Colorado)http://libraryphoto.er.usgs.gov/
The collection consists of over 21,600 photos ranging in age from 1868 through 1992 with emphasis on Geology, Earthquake Damage, National Parks and Monuments, Pioneer Photographers such as W.H. Jackson, J.K. Hillers, T.H. O’Sullivan, A.T. Russell and others, Mount St. Helens Volcanic Eruption of 1980, and Mines, Mills and Quarries.
These photos are not copyrighted and maybe viewed and downloaded free of charge.