Out of the Archives: Library of Congress

The Library of Congress has  millions of items on all kinds of subjects related to America. That includes Asian America, if only you know what you’re looking for. I’m still trying to figure out the organization of their digital materials myself. My best strategy so far has been to their home page, limit the search results to “Photo, Print, Drawing” and start typing in an ethnicity. At some point, suggested LOC subjects pop up, which may or may not yield results. Alternately, a few collections are highlighted in different places, like Ansel Adam’s Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar:

nursesplayingbridge

Item Title

Bridge game, Nurse Hamaguchi and friends, Manzanar Relocation Center, California / photograph by Ansel Adams.

Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984, photographer.

Created/Published

[1943]

Summary

Nurse Aiko Hamaguchi, Nurse Chiye Yamanaki, Miss Catherine Yamaguchi, and Miss Kazoko Nagahama seated around a table each holding a hand of playing cards.

Notes

Title transcribed from Ansel Adams’ caption on verso of print.
Original neg. no.: LC-A35-5-M-5-Ax.
Gift; Ansel Adams; 1965-1968.
Forms part of: Manzanar War Relocation Center photographs.

Subjects

Hamaguchi, Aiko.
Manzanar War Relocation Center–People–1940-1950.
World War, 1939-1945–Japanese Americans–California–Manzanar.
Japanese Americans–Women–California–Manzanar–1940-1950.
Nurses–California–Manzanar–1940-1950.
Bridge (Game)–California–Manzanar–1940-1950.
Gelatin silver prints–1940-1950.
Safety film negatives–1940-1950.

Medium

1 photographic print : gelatin silver.
1 negative : safety film.

Call Number

LOT 10479-4, no. 28

REPRODUCTION NUMBER

LC-DIG-ppprs-00317 DLC (b&w digital file from original print)
LC-DIG-ppprs00105 DLC (b&w digital file from original neg.)
LC-A35-T01-5-M-5-Ax DLC (b&w film dup. neg.)

SPECIAL TERMS OF USE 
No known restrictions on publication.

Part of

Adams, Ansel, 1902- Manzanar War Relocation Center photographs

Repository

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA

Digital ID

(digital file from original printppprs 00317 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppprs.00317
(digital file from original neg.ppprs 00105 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/ppprs.00105

More on the collection, from the Library of Congress’s American Memory site:

In 1943, Ansel Adams (1902-1984), America’s best-known photographer, documented the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California and the Japanese Americans interned there during World War II. In “Suffering under a Great Injustice”: Ansel Adams’s Photographs of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar, the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress presents for the first time side-by-side digital scans of both Adams’s 242 original negatives and his 209 photographic prints (with the print on the left and the negative on the right), allowing viewers to see his darkroom technique and in particular how he cropped his prints.

Adams’s Manzanar work is a departure from his signature style of landscape photography. Although a majority of the photographs are portraits, the images also include views of daily life, agricultural scenes, and sports and leisure activities. When he offered the collection to the Library in 1965, Adams wrote, “The purpose of my work was to show how these people, suffering under a great injustice, and loss of property, businesses and professions, had overcome the sense of defeat and dispair [sic] by building for themselves a vital community in an arid (but magnificent) environment…All in all, I think this Manzanar Collection is an important historical document, and I trust it can be put to good use.

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