Below are selected resources held by the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress. Researchers should contact the Prints and Photographs Reading Room directly for assistance in accessing relevant collection items.
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..
Richard S. Hill worked as a reference librarian in the Library of Congress Music Division from 1939 to 1961. He was editor of the Music Library Association Notes from 1943 to 1960. In 1946, he joined the LC European Mission in Berlin to asses the music publishing industry, and to examine the condition of the Berlin State Library, which was extensively damaged by bombing in February 1946. He also visited a salt mine near Heimboldshausen where members of the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives Section recovered materials that had been stored to protect them from bombing. Also included is a group photograph of the Library of Congress European Mission representatives. Hill donated this collection of photographs in 1952, along with a copy of the Music Library Association Notes article in which some of the photos were published.
Photographs include three group portraits of members of the Library of Congress Mission to Germany, and extensive damage in Frankfurt and Berlin, including destruction of the Berlin State Library, which was bombed on February 16, 1946. Views of largely-destroyed roof of the Berlin Library main entrance hall; rubble in the "Ehrenhof" [courtyard]; and damage in the music reading room and general book stacks areas. Photographs include a group portrait of members of the Monuments Fine Arts and Archives Section in a salt mine near Heimboldshausen where Berlin opera costumes, and books from the Berlin State Library and the University of Marburg were stored. Also includes views of war damage in Frankfurt am Main, of the Breitkopf & Härtl publishing house in Leipzig and Bärenreiter Verlag in Kassel.
The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Selected photographs are available online, but full access is only available on site at the Library of Congress. Links to additional online content are included when available.
This group of photographs donated by Don C. Travis, is identified in the catalog records as "Salvage by Library of Congress mission officials of the collection of posters, pamphlets, and all types of German propaganda material." The photographs have captions typed on the back, and are accompanied by an undated typescript memo "The disposition of the Rehse Sammlung, Munich, Germany" signed by Don C. Travis, Jr. Acting Chief, Library of Congress Mission.
In 1946, U.S. military forces evacuated the bombed ruins of Nazi headquarters in Munich to find and salvage a large collection of Nazi propaganda known as the Rehse Sammlung, a collection created by Friedrich Rehse that was purchased by the NSDAP and displayed at the Munich Nazi Party headquarters. Photographs show Acting Chief, Library of Congress Mission, Don C. Travis, Jr., and German librarian assistant to Travis, Hans Beilhack inspecting the ruins of several buildings to see if any salvageable material remained. The salvage operation included military officers who packed materials recovered from the ruins of the Residenz where the Rehse collection had been exhibited;the Burgerbrau subbasement where the portions of the collection had been evacuated; and the Munich Central collecting point where Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives officers reviewed and cleared materials to be shipped to the Library of Congress. For more information, see the record for this collection in the Library of Congress Online Catalog and the selected photographs below.
The Third Reich Collection consists of portions of the Rehse Collection and other Nazi Party materials confiscated by U.S. Military and transferred to Library of Congress via the European Mission. This material was screened by the U.S. Army Document Center in Munich and shipped to the Library of Congress in 1946.
The Third Reich Collection was housed in the Rare Book and Special Collections Division until 1973, when visual materials were transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division. The Third Reich Collection materials in the Rare Book Division part includes numerous posters, books, and Nazi party publications, as well as presentation albums of photographs and ephemera assembled for Adolf Hitler, Hermann Goering and other high-ranking Nazi officials. Third Reich Collection materials in the Prints and Photographs Division includes approximately 40,000 items, including 35,000 photographic prints, some arranged in 205 photograph albums; 5,000 prints and drawings; and ephemera including posters, 245 postcards, 100 maps and plans, and 800 brochures, clippings, manuscripts, and texts.
The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are included when available.