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Prints and Photographs Division




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Lititz, Pennsylvania. Self-portrait at a public sale. Marjory Collins. 1942 Nov. Prints and Photographs Division.
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Research with historical images, as with other types of historical materials, is a painstaking process that involves building on background knowledge of a topic, as well as steady applications of intuition, in order to uncover what are often scattered sources of evidence. The evidence must then be sifted and weighed in light of

  • what is known about the makers and the subjects of the images
  • the technical processes used to produce them
  • the purpose for which the given image or set of images was intended

Researchers will need to exercise both searching and interpretation skills in attempting to illuminate aspects of women's history through the visual evidence. In their vastness and variety as well as in their sometimes intricate interconnections with other types of material the Library of Congress holds, the Library's visual collections offer both challenge and
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Hoyt's A contented woman. U.S. Printing Co. Copyright 1899. Prints and Photographs Division.
POS-TH-1899.C65, no. 3 (C size).
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enticement to researchers. The wealth of pictorial evidence stands to enrich our understanding of the role the country's rapidly expanding image production played both in representing American women and in serving as sources of livelihood and creative expression for American women.

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