Research Tips For Your Spring into Summer


Walker Evans, 1936, Gelatin silver print [Two Elderly Men Conversing], Selma, Alabama; Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, object #84.XM.956.293

The above photograph taken in Selma, Alabama, makes me long for lemonade on a shaded porch, with friends and good conversation. As we quickly move from Spring into Summer, which happens fast here in the South, the following tips may help you turn those lazy hazy days into useful research time.

New image sources – Georgia

A possible source for Georgia images and research related to your chosen topic is in the back issues, starting with 1917, of the Georgia Historical Quarterly, aka GHQ. You can easily browse these by going to JSTOR where you can Login or register for a free MyJSTOR account. From there  you can use the Search or Browse feature to find all available JSTOR content, including the GHQ. If you want to search only the GHQ, at the top of the page choose “Browse” and “by Title,” and scroll to the Georgia Historical Quarterly on the next page.

The Georgia Archives now has online their World War I Casualties Scrapbooks Collection, which covers Georgians who died in WWI. The collection includes clippings with photographs from The Georgia State Memorial Book.

As an FYI, you may need to know that there were three draft registrations in the WWI era. Men who aged 21 to 31 registered by June 5, 1917, men who had become 21 by June 5, 1918 registered by that date, and finally for men aged 18 to 45 a third draft was held on September 12, 1918. These draft registration records are found on and so are the service records for only Georgia as “Georgia, World War I Service Cards, 1917-1918,” which includes Army and Navy records. Don’t forget that you can also find these on microfilm at the Georgia Archives.

The Digital Library of Georgia (DLG) announced the addition of new digital collections from Spelman College and Morehouse College  a few months ago. Included are yearbooks [Spelman yearbooks, 1951-2007, and Morehouse College yearbooks beginning in 1923], the Spelman Messenger (1885-2016), and Spelman Catalogs and Bulletins since 1881. Most of these documents contain photographs.

As you can tell by the images used in this post, I have been looking at the photographs available through the Getty Museum Open Content Program. For an example of the kind of images you can find there free to use, I did a search of the Open Content only images using the term “Georgia” . I came up with four pages of images, including the stereo view of the “Josh Billings horse” seen below. The search also found numerous civil-war-era images made in Georgia by George N. Barnard, several stereo views made in Georgia by photographers including John Usher, Jr. (Augusta), Tucker & Perkins (Augusta or Columbus), and Underwood & Underwood (unknown Georgia locations), as well as some by unidentified photographers. There is also one hit for a cabinet card portrait of J.W. Selby made by Atlanta photographer C. W. Motes.

Also found within this group of images are photographic portraits of Georgia legislators, made ca. 1859, by photographers James Earle McClees, and his assistant Julian Vannerson. These were made for McClees’ Gallery of Photographic Portraits of the Senators, Representatives & Delegates of the 35th Congress… (Washington, D.C.: McClees & Beck, 1859). This is the first time I have seen these particular photographs.

As you would expect, some hits are not actually what is wanted. The word “Georgia” also turns up photos of, or related to, or once belonged to photographer Georgia O’Keeffe. Other hits you don’t want are for photographs used in Georgia exhibits or publications, which are not made in our state, and not made by Georgia photographers.

New image sources – Arkansas

Speaking again of World War One, the Arkansas State Archives has launched a WWI Digital Exhibit. “The Story” is divided into Mobilizing the State for War, The War at Home, and In the Trenches. Below that on this page you will find many photographs, posters, maps, and documents from their collection related to WWI, including items related to the 1918-1919 influenza pandemic. Did you know that it was first recognized in the United States at a soldiers’ training camp? Or that 670,000 died of this in America? The number infected was a whopping 25.8 million. Sobering thoughts.

I have those stats at hand because I recently read about the 1918 outbreak in an article by John M. Barry, “Journal of the Plague Year” (Smithsonian Magazine, November 2017). I found the article for you online here. It includes many more photographs than does my hard copy of the magazine.

New image sources – Washington, D.C.

Digital Public Library of America (DPLA) has added a new resource, District Digital, adding over 50,000 new materials representing the history of our nation’s capital. This new source covers the local history of the District’s neighborhoods, residents, colleges, and universities. It includes materials from Gallaudet University, the world’s first school for the advanced education of the deaf and hard of hearing. Take a look at Gallaudet’s historical photograph collection.

Events of the Civil Rights Movement, American jazz, and efforts to establish D.C. as the state of New Columbia, are also covered in District Digital. The photographs taken by physician and amateur photographer Darrel C. Crain, Jr. form a collection located at D.C. Public Library. Among the photographs he took in the D. C. area are those covering significant events of the Civil Rights Movement, including the Poor People’s Campaign, the March on Washington, and the riots and looting following Martin L. King’s assassination. Also included in the Crain Collection are snapshot photographs Dr. Crain took as a tourist in various American states, the Caribbean, and Europe.

News About Newspapers

The Ancestor Hunt has a 2018 Georgia update that includes 433 Free Online Historical Newspapers with the addition of 34 student newspapers and 41 others.  He also added about 275 new and updated links to the Southern States lists this past May. The links are for 15 southern states, including Georgia. Ken Marks does a great job with this site.

Marks will probably add even more to his Georgia list, now that Early, Montgomery, and Toombs County newspapers have recently been added to the Georgia Historic Newspapers website. This South Georgia area lies in a region that relied on agriculture, timber, and transportation, and these counties include the cities of Mt. Vernon, Lyons, Vidalia, and Blakely. As a group, the newspapers date from 1863-1927, but each one of them has varied coverage.

In case you missed it, here is the list of all the newspapers added earlier this Spring by DLG to Georgia Historical Newspapers. There is another list below this, of previously digitized South Georgia newspapers that are no longer available at their old site.

Miscellaneous & Sundry Image Sources


Unidentified photographer, Albumen silver print, stereo view, ca. 1865 “Horse….Josh Billings, Macon, Georgia”; Digital image courtesy of the Getty’s Open Content Program. The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, object #84.XC.873.697

The Magazine Rack is a group of free texts for viewing or download via Internet Archives. Here is the result of a search on the term History at this site. It includes all kinds of things, but of interest to me and to my research is Scientific America, 1845-1909.  Don’t you think the fellow on the cover of the April 1906 Scientific American has invented the Segway? Only two issues come up with a search for Photography, but one can try so many other search terms related to that one! Have fun with this site, explore it and make new discoveries of your own.

The entire national art collection of Scotland, the National Galleries of Scotland, is now accessible to anyone, from anywhere, and this includes many of their photographs! Register for a free account, and you can download even high resolution images if copyright has expired or if the copyright holder has agreed to allow it. If the image is available, the download button (a larger Down Arrow) will be enabled.

This past April, The Newberry Library, Chicago, Illinois, announced a New Open Access Policy  but users are still responsible for determining whether material is in the public domain, or if it is protected by copyright law or has other restrictions.

By modifying our rights policy, we’re reinforcing our commitment to a core component of the Newberry’s mission: to promote and provide for the effective use of our collections while fostering life-long learning and civic engagement with the humanities…

They have over 1.7 million images online. Readers of this blog who are interested in women in photography, and/or African Americans in the South, will be interested in seeing the Newberry Library’s Helen Morrison Photographs of Kentucky African Americans. Morrison photographed the residents of two small African-American communities, Zion Hill and Sugar Hill., near Lexington, Kentucky. These photographs remain under copyright, but permission for use may possibly be obtained from the copyright holder.

Speaking of Open Content and Fair Use, which can be confusing, you will want to take a look at Standards & Guidelines – Intellectual Property, from the CAA (College Art Association). In addition to a link to their Code of Best Practices and Fair Use, you will find below it a very useful list of Images Banks in the U.S., and Outside the U.S., and which of those are Free to Access, Open Content, in the Public Domain, etc., or if a Fee or other payment is necessary. Click the + (plus) sign to the right of each entry for detailed information.

In closing, the following is not an image source, but an image request. The “Wall of Faces” project was created by the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Association to find at least one photo to go with each of the more than 58,000 names on The Wall. They would like to collect as many photos of each individual as possible, and allow family and friends to share memories, post pictures and connect with each other. There are still 3,000 photos to be located and added. Georgia is only one among those states listed as “photos missing,”so no matter which state you’re from, if you can help this Project, please do. On Fathers Day later this month, volunteers will place thousands of long-stemmed roses at The Wall.

My thanks to Ken Thomas, Jr., the folks at Digital Library of Georgia, and Ken Marks for sharing the information I have used for some of these items.

© E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material, without written permission from this blog’s author is prohibited. The piece can be re-blogged, and excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to E. Lee Eltzroth and Hunting & Gathering, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

One comment

  1. Never saw that Evans photograph before. Wonderful; thanks for sharing.

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