Still Pictures

Off-Site Research Guidance

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Photograph of Josephine Cobb, Still Picture Branch

Josephine Cobb, archivist in the Still Picture Branch, holding a photograph by Mathew B. Brady. Local Identifier: 64-NA-1595, National Archives Identifier: 12169321.

In addition to the resources on this page, the National Archives Catalog is the best resource for conducting research off-site. The more than 2 million digitized and born-digital images viewable through the National Archives Catalog, represent only selections from the much larger universe of Still Picture holdings. The National Archives Catalog is the location of digitized and born-digital images in the holdings of the National Archives, and descriptions of analog and digital records series. 

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Several significant series of photographs are available in digital form, both for viewing and download, in the National Archives Catalog. As the Still Picture Branch continues to digitize more of our analog holdings, these will also be made available in the Catalog. To view all of the digitized material within the Still Picture Branch, view this search in our online Catalog. After accessing the catalog search, Researchers can narrow their search criteria by selecting the fields in the left column on the page. For further information about searching Still Picture Branch holdings online, view our blog post titled “Searching the National Archives Catalog for Still Photographs.” Sample research topics and a listing of related records are available through the Still Picture Branch homepage. In addition, you may want to view the Catalog Search Tips page.  On our website you can also find a listing of each Record Group and its location.

A series described in the National Archives Catalog, or in the published Guide to the Holdings of the Still Picture Branch, might contain several items or several hundred thousand items. Few series will ever be listed by individual item.  There are several search strategies that help users navigate our large and growing catalog. They can be found on our blog, The Unwritten Record

If you need assistance with your research, you are welcome to contact us at stillpix@nara.gov, or to post your inquiry on History Hub. If inquiring about images found in the National Archives Catalog, please include the number found in the Local Identifier field and the National Archives Identifier (NAID) when you contact us.

Researchers are welcome to download images from the National Archives Catalog. Reproductions can also be made on site in the Still Picture Research Room in College Park, Maryland.  Researchers can find more information regarding on-site researcher on our webpage

If you are attempting to verify that images credited to the National Archives are in our holdings, a search might be required to determine if images credited to the National Archives are located within our holdings. For more in depth searches, we recommend you or your representative visit our facility.

Researchers are also welcome to contact an Independent Researcher Available for Hire

Reference Copies

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Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Bryan Expert Canners in Their Community

Mr. and Mrs. J. E. Bryan, expert canners of fruits and vegetables in their Community. Local Identifier: 33-SC-15906c, National Archives Identifier: 5729293.

The Still Picture Branch does not currently provide reproduction services, however resources permitting, we may be able to provide a limited number of courtesy scans. 

When inquiring about individual images, you will need to know: 
 
  • Record group number
  • Series
  • Box, folder, and/or divider designator where relevant
  • Unique item number/ Local Identifier
 
If inquiring about images found in the National Archives Catalog, researchers are encouraged to provide:
 
  • Local Identifier
  • National Archives Identifier (NAID)
Researchers are also welcome to contact an Independent Researcher Available for Hire.
 

Contact the Still Picture Branch

Reproduction work involving any still pictures in Presidential Libraries or in Regional Archives is handled through the respective site holding the items to be copied.

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