Looking for great B&W photographs of women in science and literature
October 10, 2014 11:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm putting together a gallery wall of B&W photographs of women in science and literature, and I'm looking for sources and great photographs with acquirable prints and/or in the public domain.

The photographs need to be printable or reasonable high quality. Size doesn't matter. More dynamic photographs like this of Anne Sexton, Anna Lee Fisher in her spacesuit, or Rosalind Franklin would be great.

Is there a great photograph of a woman writer or scientist that immediately pops to your mind or that you love? Or are you aware of any great sources where they also delve into who the woman is? This has been difficult to really google as the results are either overwhelming, not great quality or photography, or with little information about the women themselves, or are pages with titles like "5 women scientists you've never heard of!"

I'm aware of the Smithsonian flickr page of women in science and the Trowelblazers site. I've been looking through the MeFi archives. I already have photographs of:

Anne Sexton
Nikki Giovanni
Sylvia Plath
Sandra Cisneros
Margret Mead
Marie Curie
Audre Lorde
Jeanette Winterson
Jane Goodall
Diane Fossey
Mary Leakey
Zora Neal Hurston
Margret Atwood
Joan Feynman
Rosalind Franklin
Virginia Woolf
Gertrude Stein
Willa Cather
Arundhati Roy
and (unable to resist) Margaret Bourke-White

(as you can see, most of them are writers) If you also know of a great painting of someone pre-photography, like this one of Mary Anning, I'm not adverse.

Bonus points for diversity and if I learn about someone cool! Recommendations that I can either buy or might be in the public domain (although I'm not asking for you to google that for me, more that the photograph isn't likely to still be copyrighted with no chance of prints) would be the best.

Thanks in advance for any recommendations.
posted by barchan to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
This 1940s image of a chemistry class of Negro girls always makes me really happy, because of how adorable the girl in the center is.

Here's a "women in defense" still from a film narrated by Eleanor Roosevelt. This is of a woman correcting a map to better camouflage a munitions plant

A chemistry class at the Hampton Institute. There's a couple more images of the co-ed science classes at the LOC website.
posted by spunweb at 12:52 PM on October 10, 2014

Here's a small resource at the Marine Biological Laboratory that should include some pictures.

And this is a bit of a self-link, but a project I worked on in my Master's has 23 pages of photographs from the early days of the Marine Biological Laboratory (late 1800s - 1930s). You could browse through fairly quickly. There are some really excellent ones, such as my favorite: Botany class 1895, collecting specimens. If you like I'll go through our photos and just memail you some links that are probably interesting.
posted by Made of Star Stuff at 1:35 PM on October 10, 2014

(Disclosure, this is a colleague's collection, not sure if that's breaking the rules?) there's this women using scientific instruments Pinterest board; not all b&w, but generally fairly carefully sourced and likely to be public domain/acquirable.
posted by AFII at 2:26 PM on October 10, 2014 [2 favorites]

Who's your local librarian? A photo librarian should be able to point you toward archives, especially academic archives, that may not be accessible through the web but that you can order prints through.
posted by klangklangston at 2:26 PM on October 10, 2014

I must apologize, if I wasn't clear enough - it's not photos of women just doing science (or writing) I'm looking for - there's a few sites like that I've found already (but more are always fun and useful!). It's specific, individual women doing their science or writing that I can label with their names and provide at least a partial back story - it's part of a larger project a friend and I are trying to figure out for inspiring junior high and high school kids, more specifically girls but to also show the boys that women do science and art too. I probably should have added that but I was trying to be concise.

AFII, that's a great Pinterest board. Maria Mitchell! *blushes* I never thought of looking on Pinterest, so thanks.

Made of Star Stuff, those are so neat! What a fun project!

Klangklangston, that's a good idea, I'll look around my area.
posted by barchan at 3:27 PM on October 10, 2014

How about Grace Hopper sitting at UNIVAC?
posted by mhum at 3:48 PM on October 10, 2014 [1 favorite]

Grandma Got Stem has a nice mix of profiles of modern women in science and historical figures.
posted by yarntheory at 4:59 PM on October 10, 2014

Melanie Klein, psychoanalyst

Anna Freud, psychoanalyst
posted by DMelanogaster at 8:48 AM on October 11, 2014

There will be no shortage of gorgeous B&W photos of Hedy Lamarr, whose work on spread-spectrum frequency hopping both earned her a patent and makes cellular & wifi communication possible today!
posted by Westringia F. at 4:39 PM on October 11, 2014

And people usually think of Florence Nightingale as a nurse first, but I think of her as a statistician and pioneer of data visualization.
posted by Westringia F. at 4:48 PM on October 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

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