About the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
The Prints and Photographs Online
Catalog (PPOC) contains catalog
records and digital images representing
a rich cross-section of
still pictures held by the Prints & Photographs
Division and other units of the
Library. The Library of Congress
offers broad public access to
as a contribution to
education and scholarship.
- The catalog provides access
through group or item records
to more than 50% of
the Division's holdings.
- Many of the records
are accompanied by one or
more digital images. In
some collections, only thumbnail
images display to those
searching outside the Library
of Congress because of potential
- The primary historical
documents described and
displayed in this catalog
may contain materials offensive
to some readers. The Library
does not endorse views expressed
in the collections but presents
the collections as an aid
to scholarly research.
the P&P Online Catalog
See below for further information on:
Although the catalog is added to on a regular basis, it is not
a complete listing of the holdings of the Prints & Photographs Division.
For further information about the scope of the Prints & Photographs
online catalog and how to use it, consult the Prints & Photographs
Online Catalog "HELP" document.
- Includes descriptions of selected single images cataloged
since 1984 and groups of images cataloged since 1945.
- Overlaps with some other Library of Congress search systems:
- Some of the records in the P&P Online Catalog are also
found in the LC Online Catalog, but the P&P Online Catalog
includes additional records, direct display of digital images,
and links to rights, ordering, and background information
about the collections represented in the catalog.
- The P&P Online Catalog includes all the Prints & Photographs
Division items represented in American Memory as well as
additional materials not included in American Memory.
- Includes digitized images with many, but not all of the catalog
- In many cases, only "thumbnail" images ("gif" images) will
display to those searching outside the Library of Congress
because of potential rights considerations, while onsite
searchers have access to larger "jpeg" and "tiff" images,
- There are no digital images for some collections, such
as the Look Magazine Photograph Collection.
- In some collections, only a portion of the images have
so far been digitized.
- Functions primarily as the local online public access catalog
for the Prints & Photographs Reading Room. Some instructions
and features may not be geared to those accessing the catalog
outside of the Library of Congress via Internet.
As a publicly supported institution the Library generally does not
own rights to material in its collections. Therefore, it does not
charge permission fees for use of such material and cannot give or
deny permission to publish or otherwise distribute material in its
collections. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy
copyright or other use restrictions when publishing or otherwise
distributing materials found in the Library's collections.
The nature of historical archival collections means that copyright
or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even
impossible to determine. Whenever possible, the Library provides
information about copyright owners and other restrictions in the
catalog records, other texts that accompany collections, or in "restrictions
statements" available by request. The Library provides such information
as a service to aid patrons in determining the appropriate use
of an item, but that determination ultimately rests with
the patron. The Library of Congress is eager to hear from
any copyright owners who are not properly identified so that appropriate
information may be provided in the future.
For further information, see the document, Copyright
and Other Restrictions Which Apply to Publication and Other Forms
of Distribution of Images: Sources for Information.
Digitized images appearing in the
Prints and Photographs Online Catalog
can be downloaded (see information
above regarding image rights). Some
images will display only small,
thumbnail images when searching
outside the Library of Congress;
larger jpeg and tiff images of such
images will display when searching
inside the Library of Congress and
can be downloaded at public reading
room workstations. Higher
images may require
use of a zip disk (100 or 250 MB)
formatted for use in IBM compatible
machines or a USB flash drive, as
the size of many images exceeds
the space available on diskettes.
It is not possible to download to
CDs at the public workstations.
Copies of most images
listed in the Prints and Photographs
can be purchased from the Library
of Congress Photoduplication
Service. Other vendors also
sell quality copies of selected
information about reproduction options].
When placing an order with the
Library's Photoduplication Service:
NOTE: If the MEDIUM field lists more than one item,
further selection will be required before photographic copies of
individual items can be ordered. In general, the Photoduplication
Service can provide xeroxes of images made after 1930.
Since the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog generally only
includes cataloging carried out since the mid-1980s, images organized
and described in the decades before that are available only by searching
manual files in the Prints & Photographs Reading Room. Also,
some images are described in groups, rather than individually. Therefore,
many images credited to the Prints and Photographs Division in books
and other sources may not yet be found through the online catalog.
- If the "Reproduction
#" field in a catalog
record is filled in, note down
the letters and numbers that
appear there and the information
regarding what the image will
from that is mentioned in parentheses
film copy neg.").
- If the "Reproduction #" field only contains
dashes, take down the letters and numbers that appear in the Call
# field. (The original will have to be photographed.
The item may need to be retrieved before you place your order.)
- Include a brief caption for the item.
- Orders are accepted by email
mail and fax. Orders need not
be submitted on Photoduplication
Service order forms, but such order
forms are available in PDF
format on the Library of Congress
web site. The Photoduplication
Service estimates that it takes
3-6 weeks to complete an order.
The Division has prepared guides, reference
aids, and finding aids for particular collections and popularly
requested topics, which often list images not yet accessible
through the online catalog. Specialized reference aids exist,
for instance, on "Women's Activities During the Civil War," "Timber
Frame Houses," and on the National Child Labor Committee photographs
by Lewis Hine. Some of these documents are accompanied by digitized
For further information about how to search for Prints & Photographs
Division holdings not represented in the online catalog or in the
lists of selected images, consult the "Information for Researchers" document on the Prints & Photographs Reading Room
home page or contact: Prints & Photographs Reading Room, Library
of Congress, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, D.C. 20540-4730