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Bosnia & Herzegovina and the Bosnian Collections in the Library of Congress

Prints and Photographs

Herbert Block, Herbert, 1909-2001, artist. "We've been saying for months that we deplore all this" [rough sketch]. c1993. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Most of the holdings related to Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Reading Room are from non-Bosnian sources such as the U.S. government, American news service collections, collections from prominent Americans, or the stereograph card collection.

A pertinent example of a general photographic collection with interesting Bosnian content is the Photochrom Print Collection by the Photoglob Company in Zürich, Switzerland, and the Detroit Publishing Company in Michigan. Part of this collection is called Views of the Austro-Hungarian Empire which depicts landscapes, street scenes and architectural monuments in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Stereograph Card Collection also has tourist scenes and landscapes for Bosnian locales.

The American Red Cross Collection has many photos from World War I and the subsequent era of reconstruction of Europe, including some depicting Serbia. These collections have been digitized and are searchable on the Library of Congress website. Similarly, a partially digitized collection that is a rich source of images related to Bosnia and former Yugoslavia is the New York World-Telegram and the Sun newspaper photograph collection. Images depict architectural monuments such as mosques and bridges including locales related to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand in 1914, but also some street scenes of marketplaces, peasants and veiled Muslim women.

The State Department and congressional hearings are another source of more contemporary photographs. For example, there are photos of various U.S. government officials taken during testimony or committee hearings related to Bosnia. The American political cartoonist Herbert Block (Herblock) created a number of cartoons about the Bosnian war, such as the one above. These items are digitized and available on the Library of Congress website.

Other collections listed under Yugoslavia also yield relevant images, for instance the collection of 37 portraits of Tito and Yugoslav leaders produced by the Telegrafnoe agentstvo SSSR. Included are leaders representing Bosnia and Herzegovina like Dragutin Kosovac, Hakija Pozderac, and Vilko Vinterhalter. The Frank and Frances Carpenter collection offers an album of a 1923 trip to the Balkans, which has just a few relevant photos such as Bosnian Muslims in Serbia. A photo album given to Wilfrid Bade, an official in the Nazi Reich Ministry for Public Enlightenment and Propaganda, to commemorate his trip to Sarajevo in September 1936, provides images of Sarajevo street scenes, veiled women, and architecture.

Search for visual materials at the Library of Congress using the search box on the Library's home page and limit your search to "Photos, Prints, Drawings" or search in the Library's Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC).

About the Prints & Photographs Division

Unique in their scope and richness, the picture collections number more than 16 million images. These include photographs, historical prints, posters, cartoons, documentary drawings, fine prints, and architectural and engineering designs. While international in scope, the collections are particularly strong in materials documenting the history of the United States and the lives, interests, and achievements of the American people..