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American Women: Resources from the Prints & Photographs Collections

Bernard Gotfryd Photograph Collection

Coretta Scott King, head-and-shoulders portrait
Bernard Gotfryd, photographer. Coretta Scott King, head-and-shoulders portrait. 1969. Bernard Gotfryd Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

Bernard Gotfryd's early career as an Army Signal Corps photographer was followed by three decades working for Newsweek, where he covered stories about prominent people in the arts, letters, and politics. The more than 20,000 photographs in the collection (1943-1994, bulk 1965-1985) include portraits and events, including Vietnam War demonstrations, drug addiction, labor strikes, politics, theater and fashion, with a particular focus on life in New York City. The photographs include black-and-white photographic prints and smaller contact sheet frames, as well as more than 8,000 color slides.

Women are prominently represented among the portraits, from politician Bella Abzug to singer Nina Simone. Women also feature in coverage of fashion, religious activities, occupations, strikes, marches and demonstrations.

Searching the Collection

The color slides have been digitized and can be searched online by combining the collection code gtfy with search terms. A selection of the black-and-white photographs have also been scanned, and this representation is likely to expand as items are scanned to fulfill purchases of reproductions.

The photographs prints have been grouped into LOTs by format (contact sheet frames and photographic prints) and subject (personalities and subjects). The groups can be viewed in the reading room: Use the online finding aid or the online catalog (Groups of Images category) to identify the desired LOTs and submit a call slip to have them retrieved.