Library of Congress, Inspiration?

When illustrating, it’s great to have reference photos either for realism, authenticity or just to help formulate an idea, and for some time now, the Library of Congress has been uploading their very useful, fun and interesting photos to flickr. You may wonder who or what exactly the the Library is or contains, so we’ll just let them explain it themselves:

We serve as the national library for the United States, based in Washington, DC. With more than 142 million items preserved on some 650 miles of bookshelves, we’re also the world’s largest library.

In addition to books, we have photos, maps, databases, movies, sound recordings, sheet music, manuscripts, and information in many other formats. Millions of items are online, and the full array of collections is available in DC, right across from the U.S. Capitol building

The archive is a treasure trove of imagery, and very easy to lose a few hours searching through for inspiration, reference, or good old fashioned procrastination. Below are a few photos to whet your appetite.

Anyone up for a game of pushball?

Flickr: Henry “hi” Myers, Brooklyn nl (baseball)

Flickr: New York female Giants (baseball)

Flickr: “Hattie” the elephant and Bill Snyder
[no date recorded on caption card]

Flickr: Edw. Lauterbach
[no date recorded on caption card]

Flickr: Pushball scrimmage, Columbia
[between 1910 and 1915]

Alex Eben Meyer is a freelance illustrator living, doodling, and working in Brooklyn, NY. As Editor of Fuel Your Illustration, Alex sketches out the world of illustration for your consumption. illustration / sketchblog / twitter


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