Skip to Main Content

Congressional Quarterly & Roll Call Photograph Collections in the Library of Congress

This guide provides an overview of two closely related collections of photographs, together containing 350,000 images showing political, legislative and social activities of the US Congress and the Capitol Hill neighborhood in the late 1980s-early 2000s.


Laura Patterson, photographer. Roll Call staff. 1991. CQ Roll Call Photograph Collection. Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division.

The Congressional Quarterly & Roll Call Collection includes photos taken for both publications and donated together by the Economist Group in 2011.

The Congressional Quarterly portion of the collection is made up of more than 85,000 negatives and transparencies, represented by 4,360 contact sheets. The Roll Call portion contains more than 278,000 negatives & slides with 10,381 contact sheets. The images show the workings of the United States Congress, including legislative, political, and social activities, as well as people and places in the Capitol Hill neighborhood from the late 1980s to the early 2000s. Most of the collection is made up of black-and-white images, but both portions of the collection also include color images.

Congressional Quarterly, also referred to as CQ, was founded in 1945 by Nelson and Henrietta Poynter. It aimed to provide in-depth coverage of the workings in Congress in a way that Americans could understand the effect on them. The CQ collection in the Prints & Photographs Division mostly spans the years 1989 to 2002.

Roll Call was founded in 1955 by Sid Yudain. He wanted to create "The Newspaper of Capitol Hill" that covered things of interest to those who worked or lived in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in Washington DC. The Roll Call photos mostly cover the years 1988 to 2000.