A growing proportion of the Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call Photograph Collection can be viewed online, but much more is available on site. Provided below is information about what can be viewed online and how on-site researchers locate and view contact sheets and larger prints in the collection.
For comprehensive viewing of the contact sheets (photographic prints that reproduce multiple negatives or 35-millimeter negative strips on a single sheet), an on-site visit is needed. Magnifying glasses are available upon request to help in viewing small 35mm frames on the contact sheets.
The collection is housed in the Prints & Photographs Reading Room, where patrons serve themselves after a brief orientation. The contact sheets are organized as follows:
In each case, black-and-white and color copies are sorted by the year the photos were taken followed by a number that was assigned chronologically.
Although the contact sheets can be browsed in their chronological arrangement, they can be more effectively searched in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog using desired keywords and/or photographer names, combined with "CQ" (all contact sheet records have a note mentioning the collection as "CQ/Roll Call," so "CQ" retrieves material for both CQ and Roll Call).
The catalog record for a contact sheet will have a brief description of the images on the contact sheet, the date they were taken, information about the number and format of the images, and, most importantly, the call number which is used for finding the contact sheet in the reading room. The call number is used to find the correct folder in the file cabinets where the CQ and Roll Call contact sheets are stored. Once the folder is taken to a desk, the contact sheet can be located and viewed.
The Congressional Quarterly and Roll Call collections also include other items which have been separated into LOTs (groups of related photos). Most of these items are larger format photos, but there is also some ephemera and a small number of slides.
To focus on searching the CQ/Roll Call LOTs, search the "Groups of Images" category in the Prints & Photograph Online Catalog, combining "CQ" with other search terms, if desired. Several of the LOTs have unpublished finding aids in the reading room which may help narrow down where best to look for a specific photo.
LOTs can be requested in the Prints & Photographs reading room by filling out a call slip. Once the LOT is retrieved, a researcher can browse through the group of photos, one folder at a time.
The CQ/Roll Call groups are:
In order to make the extensive color negative materials in the CQ portion of the collection readily available, the color negative strips were digitized at a resolution sufficient to see what each of the frames shows. To focus a search on the color negatives, include "CQ06" (the designation for the color negative series) with keywords or names in the search (this will also retrieve any of the color negative frames that have been selected to be scanned at high resolution). For example, a search for CQ color negatives of the House Agriculture Committee would be: House Agriculture Committee CQ06.
The title, date, and photographer information in the descriptions for the negative strips came with the collection; caption/summary information for the contents of the strip is present in the description only when provided by CQ.
Most of the titles and captions in the online catalog descriptions rely on information recorded by CQ and Roll Call in material that came with the collection. Proper names are not always fully spelled out. Therefore:
Images that have been digitized include: