Sources for historic photo art
November 29, 2014 12:37 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a cool historic photo for a specific spot in my house. What are your favorite sources for that kind of thing?

I have a place in my house where I want a neat old black and white photo. Ideally I'd like something fairly unique (not one-of-a-kind, but also not something like Migrant Mother than everyone has seen). It needs to be vertical, or maybe square, which unfortunately limits my options quite a bit.

I'm more than happy to pay, either for a print or a high resolution scan that I could have a print made of. I greatly, greatly prefer an actual photographic print over a poster or other offset-type print. Inkjet/giclee might be ok. I probably need a custom sized print due to the unique size/shape of the area this is going in, so a digital download is ideal.

I'm currently looking on Shorpy, the Library of Congress photo catalog, and Flickr. But I'm looking for more sources, and I'd be overjoyed to find something that has a ton of vertical options (or would let me at least filter by vertical). I have a special interest in the Western US (California, Oregon and Washington), but I'm open to other stuff if it's really neat.
posted by primethyme to Media & Arts (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection is an extensive searchable archive with lots of beautiful black-and-white images available. You could print one to whatever size/quality you want.
posted by erst at 12:42 PM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: The American Photo Archive might be a useful resource.
posted by sacrifix at 2:46 PM on November 29, 2014

Best answer: Their focus is mainly Colorado and the interior west, but the photo site at the Denver Public Library Western History Department also has photos from across the rest of the West.
posted by heurtebise at 4:50 PM on November 29, 2014

Never mind - just read you're already using the LOC. Sorry! How about the NYPL - they have a bunch of things online.
posted by cdg7707 at 7:05 PM on November 29, 2014

Best answer: Calisphere is a project by the California Digital Library and you can search by timeframe. You might also check the National Archives photography section. That page also links to a lot of other resources including this set of images at the University of Washington.
posted by jessamyn at 7:52 PM on November 29, 2014

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