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Olympic Games: Finding Pictures in the Prints & Photographs Division

Selected Collections

Bain News Service, publisher. Ederle. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

This page describes a sampling of collections in the Prints & Photographs Division with visuals pertaining to the Olympic Games. Some collections are digitized in their entirety, while others may require a visit to the Prints & Photographs Reading Room in order to obtain access. Finding aids for certain collections are available in the Prints & Photographs Reading Room (when noted in the online record). All collections mentioned have online catalog records in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, where you can learn more about rights considerations, obtaining copies, and downloading files.

Photojournalism Collections

New York World-Telegram and Sun Collection Newspaper Photograph Collection

This collection is a newspaper photograph morgue, with images from the New York World-Telegram and Sun newspaper, as well as photo agencies (i.e. ACME Newspictures, Associated Press) and other commercial sources.

The collection includes images of individual athletes and coaches, competitions, trials, and life before and after the Olympic Games. Specific athletes can be found by their surnames in the Biographical Finding Aid. For specific locations, Olympic Games, and stadiums, please consult the Subject/Geographical portion of the Finding Aid.

Digitized items from this collection can be found in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog when searching with "nywts." This collection is stored offsite and requires advance notice. Please be sure to submit an Ask-a-Librarian query before your visit if you wish to consult materials.

Look Magazine Photograph Collection

This collection features Olympics athletes, including published and unpublished items, from 1952-1971. To locate relevant jobs, you can search by a specific athlete name in the Look Magazine Photograph Collection. Most of this collection is not digitized and will require a visit to the Prints & Photographs Reading Room.

George Grantham Bain Collection

The George Grantham Bain Collection represents the photographic files of one of America's earliest news picture agencies. The collection features sports events, including those from the Olympic Games. The photographs Bain produced and gathered for distribution through his news service were worldwide in their coverage, but there was a special emphasis on life in New York City. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1900s to the mid-1920s, but scattered images can be found as early as the 1860s and as late as the 1930s.

You can search by athlete name and/or sport to help find relevant images. This collection does include portraits of people on the White Star Line's RMS Olympic ship, which are not related to the Olympic Games. General keyword searches of "Olympic" will return these ship-related items, so be sure to include a sport or athlete name.

U.S. News and World Report Magazine Photograph Collection

This photojournalism collection features Olympic coverage from 1960-1984. The collection is accessible in the Reading Room and mainly features Olympic coverage before and after competition (i.e. building construction and exteriors, workers, athletes in town, parades).

Graphic Materials and Groups of Images

Graphic Materials

Posters pertaining to the Olympics, including official Olympic posters, can be found in several collections. Sometimes, a poster may be all that is available to represent a specific Olympic Game.

LOTs (Groups of Images)

LOTs are groups of images related to one another by provenance, creator, subject, or format into manageable sets. Some LOTs may have digitized materials, which you can view by clicking on the thumbnail of the LOT catalog record.

Reading Room Collection Files

The files in the Reading Room are browseable files, allowing you to explore at your own pace, and without call slips or appointments. Samples of these collections are digitized and available in the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, though visiting the Reading Room will allow you to see much more.

Specific Subjects File

The collection features images from 1850-1990, with the bulk of material from 1860-1960. You can search the Prints & Photographs Online Catalog with "ssf" to find digitized images. In the Reading Room, there is an alphabetical paper listing of subject headings to find images. Olympic imagery can be found in various sports headings as well as specific Olympic Games headings.

Biographical File

This filing series is not digitized in its entirety and is a great source for specific athletes and/or people associated with the Olympic Games. It is arranged alphabetically, which the bulk of the material dating from 1800-1950.