Library of Congress: Prints and Photographs Reading Room
Address: 101 Independence Avenue SE, James Madison Building, Room LM337, Washington, DC 20540-4730
Telephone number: 202-707-6394
Open to the public: Yes
IInterlibrary loan: No
Reference policy: Reference requests are accepted by: Ask-a-Librarian form, telephone, paper mail, in person.
A Library of Congress Reader Registration card is required to use Library of Congress reading rooms. To obtain a registration card, applicants must be 16 years of age or older and present photo identification bearing a verifiable permanent address. Please see Reader Registration and Access to Library of Congress Reading Rooms.
The Prints and Photographs Division was formally established in 1897 as the Department of Graphic Arts. The core of the Library's early American holdings consist of the copyrighted prints and photographs transferred from the United States District Courts and (later) the Copyright Office. The Prints and Photographs collections today number over 16 million images. These include photographs, cartoons, fine art and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people.
Religion-related images are found throughout the collections. Most of the pictures are 19th- and 20th-century photographs and architectural drawings of American church buildings in all states and primarily representing Christian denominations. The leaders, facilities, and activities of many other religions in the United States and throughout the world are also represented.
Some relevant materials from major collections are listed below:
In addition, relevant materials may be found in subject, geographic, and biographical files in the reading room. Samples of such material are listed below:
The descriptions provided above are not exhaustive. Additional items and collections are searchable by title, subject, and artist in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, and the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Fuller descriptions of some collection material may be found in finding aids made by the Prints & Photographs Division. Researchers should consult with reference staff for information on specific collections or subject research on specific types of images.
Angels; Baptists; Bible; Buddhists; Cathedrals; Catholic Church; Chapels; Christian sects; Church architecture; Church buildings; Church decoration and ornament; Church of God; Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Church of the Brethren; Convents; Doukhobors; Episcopal Church; Graham, Billy, 1918- ; Holy Land; Indians of North America--Religion; Jehovah's Witnesses; Jesus Christ--Art; John XXIII, Pope (Angelo Giuseppe Roncalli), 1881-1963; Judgment Day; Mennonites; Mission buildings; Missions and missionaries; Monasteries; Moses (Biblical leader); Moslems; Mosques; Niebuhr, Reinhold, 1892-1971; Paul VI, Pope (Giovanni Battista Montini), 1897-1978; Religion and state--France--1789-1870; Religion and state--Great Britain--18th century; Religious art; Religious articles; Religious education; Revivals; Ritual; Roberts, Oral, 1918- ; Rugambwa, Laurian, Cardinal, 1912- ; Russian Orthodox Church; Saints; Satanism; Schwenkfelders; Seminaries; Seventh-day Adventists; Shakers; Sheen, Fulton J., Bishop, 1895-1979; Snake handling; Spellman, Francis, Cardinal, 1889-1967; Sunday schools; Synagogues; Temples; Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Protest movements--Religious aspects; Washington National Cathedral