U.S. Congress: Finding Images in the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
This overview of collections in the Prints & Photographs Division that feature images of members of U.S. Congress and congressional activity, 1800s to the present, includes sample images, search tips and related resources at the Library and elsewhere.
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Jonathan Eaker, Reference Librarian, Prints & Photographs Division
Note: This guide existed previously as a web page, "Pictures of Congress: An Overview," completed August 2014.
Created: June 2021
Last Updated: September 2022
The Prints & Photographs Division has many photographs, prints, and cartoons depicting past members of Congress. The images were acquired primarily through copyright deposit, gift, and transfers from other units of the Library of Congress, including from papers held by the Library of Congress Manuscript Division. The division generally does not receive images directly from Congress.
The collections include relatively few portraits of Congressmen who served before 1850 and generally do not include photographs from the current Congress. Pictures of Congressional hearings can be found in the Harris & Ewing Collection (1930s-1940s) and in the CQ/Roll Call Collection (1990s), but are otherwise sparse and generally not specifically identified.
This reference aid provides search tips for locating images of individual Congress people and group portraits. It highlights Prints & Photographs Division collections that are particularly strong for such images and suggests additional sources for locating portraits.