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American Women: Resources from the Prints & Photographs Collections

CQ/Roll Call Photograph Collection

Laura Patterson, photographer. Kansas Senator Nancy Kassebaum (center) with guests at her retirement party including (left to right) senators Kay Bailey Hutchison, Barbara Mikulski, Carol Moseley-Braun and Sheila Frahm.1996 Sept. CQ/Roll Call Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The approximately 390,000 black-and-white and color photographs in the CQ/Roll Call Photograph Collection (1950-2005, bulk 1988-2002) were created for use in Roll Call and Congressional Quarterly (CQ), two leading Capitol Hill publications. In addition to portraits and scenes of members of Congress in action, the collection depicts election activities, demonstrations, conventions, hearings, press conferences, social activities and visits of world leaders. Celebrities interacting with Congress and and life in the Capitol Hill neighborhood and in the District of Columbia, generally, also feature in the collection. The bulk of the photographs are in the form of contact sheets (multiple photos relating to a particular photo assignment, contact printed from 35 millimeter negatives onto a single sheet). The collection includes corresponding negatives for most of the images on the contact sheets, which enables researchers to purchase quality digital images.

The collection offers an opportunity to observe the growing presence of women in Congress and among Congressional staff, as well as to consider how their activities are and are not portrayed. Issues relating to women can be glimpsed through photographs showing rallies and hearings relating to, for instance, women's health, women in the military, and women's economic welfare.

Searching the Collection

Each contact sheet has an online description that summarizes the contents and leads researchers to the location in the Prints and Photographs Reading Room file where the images are available for viewing. You can identify relevant contact sheets in the collection by doing an online search for cq in combination with your search terms. The contact sheets are arranged in the file chronologically.

Scott J. Ferrell, photographter. Myrick. (Rep. Sue Myrick meeting with WAND -- Women's Action for New Directions). 1999 Sept. 28. CQ/Roll Call Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Because there were no contact sheets for the color portion of the CQ photographs, they were digitized in their original strips and can be searched and viewed online.

A small portion of the collection consists of photographic prints that have been grouped by subject and cataloged as LOTs and can be viewed in the reading room. Consult the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog in the category Groups or Images; submit a call slip to have desired LOTs retrieved.

Further Information

Sample Images