Digital History>Reference Room>Historically Significant Images in American History

Historically Significant Images in American History

Advertisements | African Americans (also see Slavery) | Architecture | Art
Books and Pamphlet Images Canada | Civil War | Daguerreotypes | Ethnicity
Federal Government Images | Holocaust | Maps | Medicine | Music |
| Photography | New Deal | Political History | Portraits | Radicalism
Science and Technology | Slavery | Southwest | States | Trials and Court Cases
World War I | World War II


Collection of over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.

Emergence of Advertising in America
Searchable database of more than 9,000 images in the collection of the Duke University Library.

Back to Top

African Americans (also see Slavery)

African American History Through the Arts
A student-created site that includes images from traditional African art, Africans in European art, pre-Civil War art, images since Reconstruction, and the Twentieth Century.

Digital Schomburg: Images of African Americans from the 19th Century
A selection of visual resources dealing with the Civil War, Reconstruction, cultural expression, education, family, labor, and religion.

Photo Tour of the Civil Rights Movement
Images from the national civil rights movement and events that happened in the Seattle area.

Back to Top


Great Buildings Collection
Documents a thousand buildings and other structures, such as bridges, with images, drawings, and downloadable 3-D models

Back to Top


AICT: Art Images for College Teaching
Royalty-free art resources for educators.

Art History Resources on the Web
Links to art history resources on the Internet.

Visual Resources Collection, University of Michigan
The Visual Resources Collection from the University of Michigan contains nearly two million images.

Back to Top

Books and Pamphlet Images

Dime Novels and Penny Dreadfuls
Over 8,000 individual items, including major dime novel series (such as Frank Leslie's Boys of America, Happy Days and Beadle's New York Dime Library) and story papers like the New York Ledger and Saturday Night.

Back to Top


CanPix Gallery
A searchable database of over 3,500 pictures and audiovisual resources in Canadian studies.

Back to Top

Civil War

TreasureNet Historical Image Collection
Historical photographs and prints dealing with the Civil War and westward expansion.

Back to Top


America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerreotype Portraits and Views
More than 650 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864, including many portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio.

Daguerreotypes at Harvard
A collection of images from Harvard's libraries, museums, and archives.

Back to Top


Ethnic Images
A variety of multimedia exhibits from the Balch Institute for Ethnic Studies, including ethnic images in advertisements, comics, and toys and games, as well as on Chinese Americans, Italian Americans, Japanese Americans, and Polish Americans.

19th Century Images, with commentary by Roland Marchand
Images illustrating the experiences of a variety of 19th century immigrant groups as well as nativist reactions. This is part of a larger collection of images on variety of topics in U.S. history, which is located at:

Images and texts dealing with the Chinese American experience, 1857 through 1892, in the pages of the popular magazine Harper's Weekly.

Back to Top

Federal Government Images

American Memory
Collections of images on such topics as the Western United States, woman's suffrage, the Texas border, the Spanish American War, small town life in the Middle Atlantic states, the San Francisco earthquake, Presidents and First Ladies, prairie settlement in Nebraska, New York City, Jazz, the natural environment, and the Great Plains.

National Archives
Online exhibits offer images of essential documents, along with photographs and posters.

Picturing the Century
Photographs from every decade of the 20th century.

USDA Historical Photos
A selection of images taken during the Farm Security Administration era, 1937-1943.

Back to Top


Simon Wiesenthal Center
Extensive collection of images dealing with the Nazis and the Holocaust.

Back to Top


Antiquarian Maps
An easy to use collection of historical maps.

David Rumsey Collection
More than 2,000 high resolution maps, primarily from the 18th and 19th centuries, with zoom-in capabilities.

Back to Top


National Library of Medicine
Access to the nearly 60,000 images in the prints and photograph collection of the History of Medicine Division of the U.S. National Library of Medicine. The collection includes portraits, pictures of institutions, caricatures, genre scenes, and graphic art in a variety of media, illustrating the social and historical aspects of medicine.

History of the Public Health Service
A photographs illustrating the history of the Public Health Service.

Back to Top


Historic American Sheet Music
More than 3,000 images of sheet music published in the United States between 1850 and 1920.

Back to Top


Early American Paintings
Early American paintings from the Worcester Art Museum.

Back to Top


American Photography: A Century of Images
The companion site to the PBS documentary.

American Museum of Photography
A virtual museum of the history of photography.

Masters of Photography
Images for non-profit, educational use.

Back to Top

New Deal

New Deal
An extensive collection of images of the 1930s sponsored by the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute.

American from the Great Depression to World War II
More than 113,000 photographs from the collections of the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection.

Back to Top

Political History

Images of American Political History
More than 500 public domain images.

Back to Top


Early American Digital Library
Copyrighted engravings of maps, portraits, and battles.

National Portrait Gallery
The site includes exhibits on American presidents and on notable women.

Portrait Gallery: University of Texas
An extensive selection of public domain portraits of historical figures from the Perry-Castañeda Library, University of Texas at Austin.

Back to Top


American Radicalism
Scans of images from Michigan State University's American Radicalism collection.

Free Speech Movement Archives
Photographs documenting the history of the Free Speech Movement at the University of California at Berkeley.

Red Scare
Images of the period from the Armistice in November of 1918 to the collapse of hyper-inflation in mid-1920 arranged by subject and chronology.

Back to Top

Science and Technology

Science Service
Images representing 20th century scientific research in period periodicals.

Back to Top


Depictions of Slavery in Confederate Currency
Images of slavery on Confederate currency.

The Face of Slavery
Images of 19th century African American life.

Images of the Transatlantic Slave Trade
An extensive collection of images of Africa, the slave trade, and slavery compiled by Jerome S. Handler and Michael L. Tuite, Jr.

Slavery in the Western Hemisphere
A student-produced collection of images of slavery in the Americas.

Virginia Runaways.
A digital database of over 2,000 runaway and captured slave and servant advertisements from 18th-century Virginia newspapers compiled by Tom Costa.

Back to Top


Images of the Southwest
Multimedia exhibits documenting the history of the American Southwest drawing upon the collection of the University of Arizona Library.

Back to Top


California Heritage Collection
Over 28,000 images illustrating California history and culture from the University of California at Berkeley's Bancroft Library

Colorado Digitization Project
Links to Colorado museums and archives offering historical images.

Early Illinois Women
Images of women pioneers, women in public life, women and work, and women during wartime.

Florida State Archives Photographic Collection
Over 80,000 online images documenting Florida's history.

Image Repository: Hawaiian Newspapers, War Records, and Trust Territory
An extensive collection of photographs drawn from newspapers and archives documenting Hawaii's history.

Back to Top

Trials and Court Cases

Famous Trials
in-depth accounts of America's most famous trials from the 17th century onward, presented by the University of Missouri - Kansas City School of Law and Prof. Douglas Linder, including extensive images, cartoons, and photographs.

Back to Top

World War I

Images of the Great War

World War I: Trenches on the Web

Back to Top

World War II

African American Images During World War II
Photographs from the National Archives.

America from the Great Depression to World War II
More than 113,000 photographs from the collections of the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection.

Copyright Digital History 2021