Several New Deal-era projects set out to document American architecture, in the process recording many of the spaces in which women lived, worshiped, and worked (see also Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record). The Carnegie Corporation funded two architectural surveys, beginning in 1929:
(about 9,000 glass and film negatives and 5,300 photographic prints, ca. 1930-38) instituted a national campaign to acquire photographic negatives of seventeenth-, eighteenth-, and nineteenth-century buildings in the United States. The PAEAA collected and cataloged negatives and photographic prints, primarily of structures in the New England and the Middle Atlantic states, including images by Frances Benjamin Johnston and others.
Only a small fraction of the collection is digitized. On-site researchers can identify sites covered in the survey by checking the PAEAA card index as well as the master card catalog for the architectural collections, both of which are organized by state, county, and city. Submit a call slip in the reading room to view materials
Frances Benjamin Johnston canvassed ten southern states, making a systematic record of the early buildings and gardens. She was one of the first to document vernacular building traditions, photographing not only the great mansions of the South but also churches, graveyards, row houses, offices, kitchens, warehouses, mills, shops, farm buildings, and inns. The survey includes numerous shots of interiors and architectural details.
The images are cataloged and viewable online. The Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South has its own listing in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. This is the most comprehensive form of access to the surveyed locations, as it includes listings for images that were indexed but not found with the collection.
Earlier forms of access: