this is what war looks like.


The Library of Congress digital archives provide us with this month’s photos. You should zoom in on Fort Hell, the featured image. The tragedy is that the world is filled with war. And yet another tragedy? People who don’t know why we had a Civil War. The Civil War was about slavery.

The online Civil War Glass Negatives and Related Prints provide access to about 7,000 different images made during the American Civil War (1861-1865) and in its immediate aftermath. The images were scanned from the Prints and Photographs Division’s collection of original glass plate negatives. In addition, this online offering includes copy negatives made from many of the photographic prints the Division holds. The images were acquired from various sources.

The bulk of the collection consists of original glass plate negatives. Through high resolution scans, researchers now have access to all of the original Civil War negatives in the Library of Congress collections. Some images lack corresponding prints in the collection and have not been seen widely before. Of special interest are the stereo negatives, including the full plate stereo negatives and both sides of the cut plates. The high resolution scans allow researchers to examine the negatives for details such as facial expressions, buttons on uniforms, and building signs. The scans are of such superb quality that they will be suitable for publication purposes, making it no longer necessary to handle the fragile original glass plates.