If you enjoy a good mystery, the Library of Congress has added a new group of mystery photos to the Library’s Flickr account and is encouraging the public to have a look at the collection of uncaptioned images to see whether anyone can figure out what the story is behind them. The album “Mystery Photos — What’s the Story?’ contains 20 photos from glass negatives in the Harris & Ewing Collection that came to the Library with no captions, providing many challenging photo mysteries to solve.
These newest additions to the Flickr Mystery Photos album have a theme, in that each image contains an unidentified gadget. The “gadgets” range in size from large machines to handheld instruments.
“If you figure these mysteries out, feel free to sing out,” Kristi Finefield, a Reference Librarian in the Library of Congress’ Prints and Photographs Division says, encouraging everyone to start sleuthing.
About the Harris & Ewing Collection
The photographic negatives produced by the Harris & Ewing studio document people, events and architecture — particularly in Washington, DC — during the period 1905 to 1945. Included are approximately 50,000 news photographs and 20,000 studio portraits of notable people. Available online are more than 41,000 glass negatives — all but approximately 400 glass negatives in the collection. Titles for the images are taken from unverified caption data received with the collection. When no caption data was received, the title says “NO CAPTION.” Note that approximately 28,000 film negatives in the collection have not been digitized. However, access is available through a paper finding aid in the Library of Congress reading room.
About The Library of Congress
The Library of Congress is the nation’s oldest federal cultural institution and serves as the research arm of Congress. It is also the largest library in the world, with millions of books, recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts in its collections. The Library’s mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people. The Library serves the public, scholars, Members of Congress and their staffs. Many of the Library’s resources and treasures may also be accessed through the Library’s Web site at loc.gov.
- Visit Mystery Photos — What’s the Story?
- Revisit the first group of Harris & Ewing mystery photos — now mostly solved, but a few tricky ones remain: “What’s the Story?”: Solving Mystery Photos
- Explore Washington, D.C.’s people, events and architecture between 1905 and 1945 through the photographs of Harris & Ewing, Inc.