The Library of Congress is the nation’s foremost research center for the study of the history of Washington, DC, and its collections pertaining to the nation’s capital are the richest and most varied in existence. This book of postcards holds only a small sampling of the Washingtoniana photographs held in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division.
It is to history more than anything that Washington owes its rich photographic record. Since it became the nation’s capital in 1800, the city has always been a magnet for those with causes to promote, messages to deliver, statements to make, and policies to influence. At the same time it has also been a hometown to its citizens and merchants, and many of the Library’s Washingtoniana images are of everyday people and places typical of any midsize city in the past hundred years.
Many of the photographs in this collection were taken by Frances Benjamin Johnston (1863-1952), one of the first women to achieve prominence as a photographer.