Ruins at end of Richmond and Petersburg Railroad Bridge, Richmond, between 1861 and 1865

Not Mathew Brady: The Civil War Photos of Andrew J. Russell

Will the real Civil War photographer please stand up?
J.P. Ball's Great Daguerrian Gallery of the West

Introducing “Archives Unbound”

In her new column, Dorothy Berry offers an inside look at the work of the digital archivist, while highlighting forgotten figures in Black print culture and public life.
A daguerreotype of a postmortem baby, partially covered by a flowered shawl

The History of Postmortem Photography

Ever since the medium was invented, people have used photography to document loss.

Bird Watcher

Herbert Keightley Job's work represents a major turn in the study of birds. Instead of shooting them, he photographed them, at least some of the time...
Along the highway near Bakersfield, California. Dust bowl refugees by Dorothea Lange

The Photographers Who Captured the Great Depression

The Farm Security Administration had photographers fan out across the country to document agricultural conditions. But they brought back much more.

Vintage Circus Photos from the Sanger Circus Collection

In Victorian England, the circus appealed across an otherwise class-divided society, its audiences ranging from poor peddlers to prestigious public figures.
Alphonse Bertillon, first head of the Forensic Identification Service of the Prefecture de Police in Paris (1893).

The Origins of the Mug Shot

US police departments began taking photographs of people they arrested in the 1850s.
New Albatross recipe book

The Delectably Indulgent History of Perfect Food Photos

Instagram didn't invent photos of culinary masterpieces designed to inflame the appetite. Cookbooks have been at it for centuries.
Marilyn Monroe at Hollywood agent Johnny Hyde's backyard, 1950

How Hollywood Sold Glamour

The complicated notion of glamour in classic Hollywood, suggesting that stars were aloof and unknowable, was also a means to sell products.
A graduate nurse and student nurses in isolation uniforms, early 1900s

Nurses Have Always Been Heroes

Nothing drives that home more than this amazing photo collection from the Philadelphia General Hospital School of Nursing.