Public Domain Images Online

Give credit. Pay nothing.

Archive for the ‘Historical’ Category

Flickr Commons: National Library of Wales

Posted by havealittletalk on February 8, 2012

Did you know that there are collections of public domain photos on Flickr?  A diverse group of museums and libraries have contributed some images to the section called The Flickr Commons. In my next set of posts, I will feature selections from some of the collections, particularly those not located in the US since the Library of Congress and US government sites have been used extensively here.

For no particular reason, I’m starting with these from the Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru / The National Library of Wales LIGC/NLW]. The NLW has uploaded some of its P. B. Abery collection of photographs taken mainly between 1890 and 1940 in Radnorshire, the border area of Wales and England. Http under the photos takes you to the Flickr page where you can download the image in several sizes.

These first four photos date from the mid 1870s. You can learn more about the photographer, John Thomas, here.

Six men in country dress


Two women in national dress

Farlie's Patent double ended narrow guage steam locomotive, "Little Wonder". Railway staff are standing on the engine.

Conway Castle and bridge

Celtic cross situated in the churchyard at St Nicholas and St Teilo's church. Penally. By P B Abery

The Old Drws-y-coed Copper Mine, Dyffryn Nantlle, 1961. By Geoff Charles.


Posted in Flickr Commons, Historical, Places | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy New Year!

Posted by havealittletalk on December 31, 2011



Mummer’s Parade on New Year’s Day, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. By Carol Highsmith, 1/1/2011.

Last New Year’s Day, January 1, 2011, Carol Highsmith photographed the Mummers’ parade in Philadelphia, PA. This is just one of her gloriously colorful photos from that event in the Carol Highsmith Archive of the Library of Congress’s Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Just follow the link above to her archive and enter “new year.”


Same parade, 102 years before the one pictured above.



LC-USZ62-58961. 1908

LC-DIG-ggbain-15029. ca. 1910 and ca. 1915


By Udo Keppler. LoC Summary: Illustration shows waiters Joseph G. Cannon and James S. Sherman turning away a man labeled “Average Citizen” and a woman at the “Hotel Prosperity” dining room because all the tables have been reserved; there are signs on the tables that read “Reserved for Wool Interests, Reserved for Coal Trust, Reserved for Steel Trust, Reserved for Senator Aldrich and Party, Reserved for Cold Storage Interests, Reserved for Sugar Trust, Reserved for Ice Trust, [and] Reserved for Franchise Grabbers”. Illus. in: Puck, v. 66, no. 1713 (1909 December 29)


Posted in Carol Highsmith, Historical, Library of Congress, Places | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Justice and Corruption

Posted by havealittletalk on December 29, 2011

These are from the Library of Congress’s Prints & Photographs Online Catalog. Not much has changed in a hundred years — or, in the case of the Bruegel print at the end of the post — 500 years.

The first four images are by Udo Keppler and were published in Puck. I’ve copied the Library of Congress’s summaries for the illustrations. Although the actors may not be familiar to us, their behavior and values seem altogether too familiar.

The man highest up. LC-DIG-ppmsca-26345

By Udo Keppler.  LoC Summary: Illustration shows a large flaming hand labeled “Guilt” emerging from dark clouds pointing to a man’s downfall as the institutions labeled “Business Reputation, Financial Standing, Social Position, Respectability, [and] Church Membership” that he has worked to build up crumble as lightning bolts labeled “Public Enlightenment”, revealing his corrupt practices, strike them. Published in Puck, v. 65, no. 1665 (1909 January 27).


By Udo Keppler. LoC Summary: Illustration shows three men labeled “Riot, Lynching, [and] Violence” burning a female figure labeled “Law and Order” at the stake; she is bound to the stake with ribbons labeled “Prejudice” and “Defiance”. Puck, v. 53, no. 1377 (1903 July 22).


By Udo Keppler. LoC Summary:  Illustration shows Uncle Sam standing next to a cannon labeled “Dept. of Justice” that is shooting at a floating target labeled, from the outer rim to bull’s-eye, “Scapegoats and Dummies, Appraisers, Inspectors, and Weighers, Trust Supt. and Managers, Corrupt Civil Service Officials, Sugar Trust Directors, [and] High Govt. Officers”. The target has two holes on the bottom, Uncle Sam is telling the shooter to “aim higher”. Puck, v. 66, no. 1710 (1909 December 8)

Get after the substance, not the shadow. LC-DIG-ppmsca-27681

By Udo Keppler. LoC Summary: Illustration shows an oversized man labeled “The Individual” casting a shadow labeled “Incorporation” which is caused by a light, on the left, held by a “Corporation Lawyer” and a “Corporation Legislator”; on the right, a female figure labeled “Dept. of Justice” carrying a shield and a fasces, assails the shadow.


By John Scott Clubb. Published 1906. 79 varieties. Depew: If I get out of these by the time I am 72 I will be able to do my real work in the Senate.

LoC Summary: Outside the U.S. Senate, New York Senator Chauncey Depew (1834-1928) holds open his topcoat, exposing several layers of coats labeled with various real estate, banking, insurance, railroad, and trust companies. . . . The cartoon relates to a 1905 congressional investigation exposing Depew as a member of the boards of dozens of major corporations while still carrying on his duties as a U.S. Senator. It also revealed that he received sizable retainer fees from many of these companies, transactions viewed as gross conflicts of interest by his critics.


By Will Crawford. Watching the tape or watching the wheel – what is the difference morally?

LoC Summary: Illustration shows a two panel cartoon, on the left, anxious businessmen are gathered around a ticker tape machine, reading the ticker tape; and on the right, anxious gamblers are gathered around a roulette wheel, awaiting the outcome. Illus. in: Puck, v. 72, no. 1852 (1912 August 28), centerfold.

Justicia. LC-USZ62-103251.

by Pieter Bruegel (1525-1569). LoC Summary: Justice stands blindfolded as people around her are being tortured.

Posted in Historical, Library of Congress | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Christmas Cats

Posted by havealittletalk on December 15, 2011

Stumbled across while browsing at random in the Library of Congress’s Prints & Photographs Online Catalog: cats at Christmas and having a pillow fight. Why not?

Cats decorating Christmas tree. By Louis Wain. 1906. LC-D416-29198

A Christmas catastrophe : please, sir, the rat entree has escaped and eaten the turkey. By Louis Wain. 1906. LC-D416-29197

“May every cat grow sleek and fat on turkey this Christmas Day” on sign above cat standing near center of table.

Cats in the dormitory. By Louis Wain. 1906 LC-D416-29199

And sending you greetings:


by John Scott Clubb. Published in the Rochester Herald, December 25, 1913.

And feasting and imbibing  and overdoing both:



By Currier and Ives,  c 1871.

Posted in Animals, Historical, Library of Congress | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Social Theory. Sort of. Public Domain Images from the Library of Congress.

Posted by havealittletalk on December 12, 2011

A reader asked for help finding public domain images of the following:

  • Milgram’s obedience research
  • Asch’s conformity research
  • Bandura’s Bobo Doll studies
  • Sherif’s Robbers Cave Study

So far, I’ve had no luck. I did a bit of reading. These are pioneering studies in individual and group psychology. Although the researchers were associated with US universities that I’m sure receive Federal funding , it isn’t like with Federal employees whose photography is performed as part (or all) of their job. If my reader’s project is for educational purposes, his use might meet Fair Use criteria, but I wouldn’t hazard a guess.

Anyway, I’ve no background in psychology, but I found these studies intriguing (see Wikipedia). Milgram’s is one that I didn’t recognize my name, but it has been the basis for several films or TV show episodes. Subjects were told that they were to deliver increasingly intense (15-watt intervals) electric shocks to a person in the adjacent room whenever that person failed to answer a question correctly. No shocks were actually delivered, but the subject, who the researchers casually mentioned had a heart condition, would cry out and bang on the wall and then go silent. About 65% of participants didn’t stop until the very end, when they thought they had delivered three 450-watt jolts — a fatal level. A Dar Williams song, “Buzzer,” summarizes the experiment:

I’m feeling sorry for this guy that I pressed to shock

He gets the answers wrong I have to up the watts

And he begged me to stop but they told me to go

I pressed the buzzer.

Asch’s conformity research wasn’t dramatic, but it did show that people will go along with the majority, even when they know the majority opinion is wrong. Bandura’s Bobo Doll studies showed how young children will imitate the aggressive behavior of an adult model. Bandura showed a group of kids a film of an adult screaming at and smacking what I’d call a Bozo inflatable clown doll. Then when they had playtime, surprise, in the playroom were several Bozos, and the kids treated these toys as the adult had.
Muzafer Sherif’s Robbers’ Cave Experiment was sort of like a Survivor series. He divided boys into two groups, and made scarce or desirable resources available only to the group who won competitions. The groups became increasingly hostile toward one another.
Back to our subject, public domain images. Failing to find any using the researchers’ or experiments’ names, I started looking for ones that simply illustrated  observational learning, conformity, obedience, or aggression. All are from the Library of Congress. LoC Summary means a direct copying of the Library of Congress’s summary notes.

Here are a few on modeling or observational learning, which might fit in with the Bobo doll experiment.

The two paths–What will the girl become, LC-DIG-ppmsca-02926 (black) and LC-DIG-ppmsca-02925 (white, right).
LoC Summary: Image of an African American girl of seven years old [a seven year old white girl], flanked by two columns of illustrations showing on left: the girl reading bad literature, flirting, drinking with men, and as an outcast, and on right: the girl studying, in church, as a mother, and as a grandmother.
Illus. in: Golden thoughts on chastity and procreation / John William Gibson. Toronto, Ont., Naperville, Ill. : J. L. Nichols & co., [1903], between pp. 58 and 59.

LC-DIG-nclc-04935, By Lewis Hines. [1913 or 1914?]
Lynch mobs could illustrate conformity to a group even when at least some involved know that what they are doing is wrong.
Start the recall of judges with this one. By Will Crawford.Illus. in Puck, v. 71, no. 1825 (1912 February 21). LC-DIG-ppmsca-27817.LoC summary: Illustration shows the ghostly figure of a manic-looking man, labeled “Judge Lynch,” carrying a book labeled “Lynch Law,” and a lighted torch, hovering over a procession of people. The procession is led by three solid citizens followed by farmers, unruly elements, and finally a long line of regular citizens including women, who look back at a small column of smoke in the distance — presumably a lynching. One of the unruly men shoots a dog. “Judge Lynch” was the personification of the practice, frequently found in the South, of executing African Americans suspected of crimes, without the benefit of trial. In the second decade of the Twentieth Century, Progressives advocated various reforms designed to circumvent the state governments viewed as the tools of entrenched interests. The Recall was intended to allow the citizenry to directly vote officials out of office. The cartoonist suggests that this first be used to abolish the practice of lynching. (Source: LCCN 2005676912 and LJR).

This is tangentially related to Milgram’s experiment — at least it involves learning and shocks.LoC summary: Teachers shock students at George Washington U. Washington, D.C., Aug. 2. Public speaking students at G.W. U. are only too well acquainted with the shocking machine, invented by Dr. Willard Hayes Yeager, Head of the department, to take the “ahs” “ers” and “ums” out of their diction. He is shown putting on the shocker to Jane Hampton, 17. When the student makes a mistake the professor at the other end of the room, notifies her by a gentle electric shock, 8/2/38. LC-DIG-hec-25026

And in appreciation of its irony, I offer this final commentary.

                                           LC-USZC2-5627. Federal Art Project, between 1936 and 1941

Posted in Historical, Library of Congress | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs, Library of Congress: 2. The Land.

Posted by havealittletalk on August 6, 2011

These images are from the Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs at the Library of Congress, described in my last post.

Rainbow in the mountains of Lachung, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30228

Sikkim, dry season, rice terraces. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30789

Rice terraces during dry season, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30792 (

Building in the mountains of Lachung, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30809

Tsongmo Lake, along the Nathu La Pass, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30136

Primula flowers at Pemayangtse in western Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30105

Bridge, North Sikkim near Tibet. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30892

Mount Kānchenjunga, third highest mountain in the world. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30100

Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, People, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs, Library of Congress: 1. Religious Practices.

Posted by havealittletalk on August 3, 2011

These images are from a special collection at the Library of Congress:

[The] Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs portrays the people and landscape of a kingdom high in the Himalaya Mountains. Sikkim, now part of India, borders on Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. Dr. Kandell captured these vivid scenes in order to document a vanishing culture. During visits between 1965 and 1979 (primarily 1965-1971), Dr. Kandell received special permission to photograph Buddhist monks and lamas, ceremonial dances, and monasteries; people working on farms, in canning factories, and at special crafts; and the royal palace and chapel at Gangtok, including the last king, Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, his American wife Queen Hope Cooke (Dr. Kandell’s college friend), and their family.

Also depicted are the villages and people of Singhik and Lachung, the mountains of Kānchenjunga, the Ralang Hot Springs, and the Gangtok bazaar as well as different ethnic groups including the Kirati (Kiranti), Lepcha, Nepalese, and Bhutia people. Other photographs show the material culture, including religious paintings, ceremonial masks, jewelry and carpets. Special events feature the coronation in 1965 and the wedding of Princess Yanchen Dolma and Simon Abraham in 1979.

Dr. Alice S. Kandell dedicated her rights to the public domain when making this generous gift to the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, in 2010. The entire collection includes approximately 15,000 photographs available for research use at the Library.

About 300 have been digitized.

Credit lines should read as follows:

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-123456]

Lamas spinning prayer wheels at old Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30144

Monk fixing clock above painting, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30150

Boys blowing gyalings in front of palace temple, Gangtok, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30187

Blue Mahakala dancer initiating the New Year's ceremony, Gangtok, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30195

Black Hat Lama in a procession down the mountain to sacrifice objects, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30211

Guruda bird dancer performing at the New Year's dance, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30773

Hex, symbolizing person’s spirit, thrown in the road for devil to be decoyed. Used in Bon practices, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30870
Woman turns prayer wheel in front of the Do-Drul Chorten stupa. LC-DIG-ppmsca-31643

Lama turning prayer wheel activating prayers. LC-DIG-ppmsca-31642

Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, People, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Just for Fun: 19th Century Oddities

Posted by havealittletalk on July 18, 2011

These caught my eye at the Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Online Catalog:

This porcineograph. Map of the United States in shape of a pig, surrounded by pigs representing the different states, with notations of state foods. 1876. LC-DIG-pga-03724


Tobacco package, 1871. LC-USZ62-37641


1874. LC-USZ62-50139


Cross with biblical scenes and children with Easter eggs. 1877. LC-DIG-pga-01328


1877. LC-USZC4-4440

1895. LC-USZC4-7172

Posted in Historical, Library of Congress | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Weddings of the Rich and Famous

Posted by havealittletalk on June 9, 2011

Looking for “brides” in the Library of Congress’s Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, I found a number of public domain images of weddings of famous people. Here is a selection:

Bouvier-Kennedy wedding portrait, Sept. 12, 1953. Photographer: Toni Frissell. LC-USZC4-4892

Pres. Richard Nixon escorts his daughter Tricia at her White House Rose Garden wedding. Photographer: Warren K. Leffler. June 12, 1971. LC-DIG-ppmsca-03410


Vanderbilt-Szechenyi wedding - Official portrait of Count Szechenyi, made just before he married Gladys Vanderbilt, 1907. LC-USZ62-69601


Princess Mary's wedding coach. 1922. LC-B2- 5711-3


Tenor Enrico Caruso- Dorothy Park Benjamin Wedding Party, 1918. LC-DIG-ggbain-27427


President Roosevelt, with Alice Roosevelt-Longworth and Hon. Nicholas Longworth in bridal array. March 22, 1906. LC-DIG-stereo-1s01932





Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, People | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by havealittletalk on June 8, 2011

Here’s a selection of brides from the Library of Congress’s Prints & Photographs Online Catalog:

between 1920 and 1930. LC-USZC2-6075

Wishham bride. By Edward S. Curtis, c. 1910. LC-USZ62-105387

A Chinese Bride and Groom, 1905. LC-USZ62-56121

Sorcerers putting the crown of "good luck" on the head of the painted bride, Seoul, Korea. c. 1904. LC-USZ62-72587


Druse bride of Mt. Lebanon wearing tall head-dress c.1910 & 1925. LC-USZ62-69063

Romani men and women staging a Bedouin wedding, Syria, 1938. By John D. Whiting. LC-DIG-ppmsca-18880


Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 64 other followers