13 August 2007

Library of Congress: Photo Collection

Reader Ann Rabinowitz supplies great research tips. Her latest is the free, searchable online Library of Congress Photo Collection (1840-2000), which includes some 340,000 prints, useful for tracing immigrant ancestors to America.

Search it here. Search categories include names, towns, occupations and more.

Using the term "news-boys," Ann found an April 17, 1912 photo from Washington, DC, of a group of boys who sold extras into the late hours of the night and early morning. Some were Jewish, identified as Israel Spril, 9, 314 I Street, NW; Harry Shapiro, 11, 95 L Street, NW; and Eugene Butler, 310 (rear) 13 Street, NW.

There were 117 more photos in the same category. Others mentioned include Abraham Jachnes (1908), Newsboys Lodging House, 14 Chambers St., NY; Harry Ahrenpreiss, 30 Willet St., Brooklyn; Abe Gramus, 37 Division St.; Alice Goldman, Besie Goldman and Bessie Brownstein, Hartford, CT (1909).

Readers might be shocked at the young ages represented, she says, adding that the youngest she saw was only 4 years old. Special lodgings were sometimes provided and there were protective associations. Although primarily a male domain, girls also worked in the trade.

Thank you, Ann, for this interesting source.

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