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American Women: Resources from the Prints & Photographs Collections

George Grantham Bain Collection

Photograph of Milholland Boissevain wearing a white cape
Inez Milholland Boissevain, wearing white cape, seated on white horse at the National American Woman Suffrage Association parade, March 3, 1913, Washington, D.C. 1913. Bain Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division

The archive of one of America's earliest news photo agencies, the George Grantham Bain Collection (100,000 photographic prints and negatives, ca. 1910-22), provides evidence of the many ways in which women made the news in the early decades of the twentieth century. The collection includes photographs of:

  • women's suffrage activities
  • immigrant women
  • women engaging in various sports and physical education activities
  • recreational activities of upper-class women
  • striking women workers in the pre-World War I era
  • women workers during World War I.

Although Bain collected images from publications across the United States that subscribed to his photo service, a large proportion of the photographs were produced under his direction and focus primarily on activities in New York City and, to a lesser extent, the East Coast.

Searching the Collection

The negatives and a portion of the prints can be searched in the online catalog, where the collection has its own listing.

To look for images for which no online records exists, on-site researchers can:

  • consult the Groups of Images category in the online catalog (the prints have been grouped by subject into LOTs); submit a call slip to have desired LOTs retrieved
  • consult the Biographical File, where many of the portraits in the collection have been filed.

For Further Information

Sample Images