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Certificate Given by Kabul Prisoners in 1842 to Babu Khan
This photograph of a certificate given by prisoners held in Kabul is from an album of rare historical photographs depicting people and places associated with the Second Anglo-Afghan War. The certificate, relating to an important episode in the First Anglo-Afghan War (1839–42), apparently had remained in the possession of an unknown Afghan for some 40 years before being reproduced by a British photographer during the Second Anglo-Afghan War. In the document, the prisoners attest to the kindness shown them by Babu Khan, who was probably a tribal Pashtun leader ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Ratification by China of the Convention for the Suppression of the Illicit Traffic in Dangerous Drugs
The first global attempt to control the traffic in opium and other dangerous drugs (such as morphine, heroin, and cocaine) occurred via the Hague Convention, signed by 42 nations in 1912. The signatory states agreed to allow the import only of such drugs as were considered necessary for medicinal and scientific purposes. World War I broke out before the convention could be implemented, but after the war the League of Nations was entrusted with reactivating the convention. It soon became evident that in order to prevent the illicit smuggling of ...
Departure for the Islands
When Canada, also called New France, became a royal province in 1663, there were at least six male colonists of marriageable age for every European-born female. With a view to reducing this imbalance and to ensuring the settlement of the colony, King Louis XIV subsidized the cost of passage to New France for nearly 770 young women between 1663 and 1673. When finances permitted, he granted each a dowry of 50 livres intended to facilitate their marriage and settlement. Contrary to persistent legend, these girls were not prostitutes, but more ...
New York Police Parade, June 1st, 1899
The film shows members of "New York's Finest" parading at a crowded Union Square. Seen are members of the Bicycle Squad, mounted horses, and two regimental marching bands. At the time of filming, the New York City Police Department was still recovering from the corruption scandals of the early 1890's that had severely tarnished the reputation of the department. A State-Senate-appointed group known as the Lexow Committee investigated the department and issued a scathing report that detailed serious criminal activity within the department. In 1895, public opinion was ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Fire Insurance Maps of Sitka, Alaska
Shown here is a fire insurance map for Sitka, Alaska, produced by the Sanborn Map Company in 1914. The Sanborn Map Company published such maps for thousands of municipalities across the United States, beginning just after the Civil War, in 1867. The map shows then-extant buildings in Sitka, Alaska, subdivided by town section and highlighting type of structure (frame, brick, stone, iron, or adobe) by color code provided in the key. The inset map in the upper left shows the Sheldon Jackson School for Indians (later Sheldon Jackson College), named ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
Justice Calls Your Attention to the Tragedy of the Jew
In a nationwide publicity campaign initiated while World War I was raging, American Jewish leaders brought home to the American public the extent of the suffering abroad and the need for relief efforts of unprecedented scope. The message resonated, resulting in the raising of large sums of money and in garnering support from American Jews and others for wartime relief. The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as JDC) was formed in 1914 ...
Refugees in a Food Line in Bucharest, Romania
Elderly refugees, such as this 75-year-old woman newly arrived in Bucharest, had the hardest time surviving the rigorous journey to safety during World War I. Romania joined the Allied war effort in late August 1916. Sections of the country became enemy-occupied territory. As in large swaths of Europe, Jewish homes in Romania and the civic institutions supporting community life were destroyed. Civilian populations, treated as enemies, were forced or frightened into flight to places not yet caught up in the turmoil. Initial relief efforts for Romanian Jews impoverished by the ...
Relief Ship Sails for Near East
The caption for this wire-service photograph states: “The USS Pensacola, now used as a relief ship carrying food and clothing to the destitute countries in the Near East, sailed from New York with a cargo valued at more than two million dollars. The Pensacola is not the first ship to sail for the Near East, two others having preceded it. The relief ships are under the auspices of the American Committee for Relief in the Near East. Photo shows the Pensacola pulling out of the pier at Hoboken to start ...
First Shipment of Kosher Meat Sent to Danzig, Poland
In 1919, when hundreds of thousands of Jews were trapped between the warring forces of Poland and Russia, American Jews shipped desperately needed food to these refugees. In this photo, barrels of kosher salted beef are loaded aboard the SS Ashburn in New York harbor to be sent to Danzig (present-day Gdansk, Poland). The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as JDC) was formed in 1914 to send aid, including food, clothing, medicine ...
World War I Prisoner of War Card
This card was issued in 1920 to a Hungarian prisoner of war, Kiksa Biro, by the Vladivostok branch of the Joint Distribution Committee of the American Funds for Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as the JDC). The card includes a rare photograph and contains such biographical information as the prisoner’s name, birthplace and date of birth, nationality, home address, family status, and occupation. Through its Vladivostok branch, the JDC aided Jewish prisoners of war in Siberian camps during and after World ...
Children Wearing Makeshift Coats from Flour Sacks outside an Orphanage in Grodno, Poland
These children in Grodno, Poland (present-day Hrodna, Belarus) were among tens of thousands of Jewish war orphans who between 1914 and 1920 had lost one or both parents on the battlefield, in military hospitals, or from epidemics, starvation, and other war-related causes. The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as JDC) was formed in 1914 to send aid, including food, clothing, medicine, funds, and emergency supplies, to the stricken Jews of Europe during ...
Orphaned Refugees in a Children's Home in Kiev
This orphanage in Kiev, Ukraine, took in children, mostly from small towns, who had survived the pogroms (anti-Jewish riots) of May 1920. In the years immediately following the Russian Revolution and continuing until the end of the Russian Civil War, disputed territories of the former Russian Empire suffered repeated invasions from Ukrainian, Bolshevik, and Polish forces. During this period of political upheaval, there were many pogroms, and disease and starvation were also rampant. In Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of children were left without parents or homes. In the wake of ...
Children outside a Public Soup Kitchen in Rowne, Poland
This photograph shows a group of poor Jewish children, barefoot and holding their pots, waiting to receive food at a soup kitchen in Rowne, Poland (present-day Rovno or Rivne, Ukraine). Even after the destruction and dislocation of World War I came to an end, the situation for Jews in Eastern Europe remained bleak. Civil war in Russia and the Russo-Polish War of 1919‒20 caused further hardship; for Jews, there was additional danger from numerous pogroms. Famine and disease were widespread and the economy was in ruins. Children were especially ...
Orphanage Kindergarten in Brest-Litovsk, Poland
This photograph shows kindergarten teachers and pupils in a yard of the orphanage on Pushkinskaya Street in Brest-Litovsk, Poland (Yiddish, Brisk; present-day Brest, Belarus). After World War I and the Russo-Polish War that followed (1919‒20), there were tens of thousands of Jewish orphans in Poland. The Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as JDC) was formed in 1914 to send aid, including food, clothing, medicine, funds, and emergency supplies, to the stricken ...
Jewish War Orphans Arrive in the United States
This photograph from 1921 shows a group of children orphaned as a result of World War I, newly arrived in New York harbor and about to begin a new life, posing with American flags. The war brought devastation to communities across Europe, leaving behind needy populations, including hundreds of thousands of orphans. In Central and Eastern Europe, the collapse of empires and onset of revolution prolonged the disorder, famine, and disease that began during the war. For Jews, there was the added danger of pogroms. The Joint Distribution Committee of ...
People Await the Opening of a Soup Kitchen in Aleksandrovsk, Ukraine
This photograph shows hungry people, mostly women and children, waiting with their containers for the soup kitchen to open in Aleksandrovsk (present-day Zaporozhye), Ukraine, in 1921. Famine struck the Soviet Union in 1921, one of the consequences of seven years of war. Under the auspices of the American Relief Administration (ARA) established by the United States government, the Joint Distribution Committee of American Funds for the Relief of Jewish War Sufferers (later the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, both names abbreviated as the JDC), provided food on a nonsectarian basis ...
Jewish Family Outside Their Temporary Home, Poland
In this photograph, members of a Jewish family that had been forced to flee their town pose outside their temporary home, a crude structure located on the road between Kowel and Rowne, Poland (present-day Kovel and Rovne or Rivne, Ukraine). In the years immediately following World War I, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC) sent field representatives to Poland. They not only worked to provide relief and rehabilitation to destitute Jews but also investigated local conditions and needs in order to plan future aid efforts, which included support for ...
Refugees Returning to Poland from Russia
In the early years of World War I, many Jews living in the disputed territories of Poland were resettled by Russian military authorities in the provinces of Central Russia. In areas where aid was possible, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian organization created at the start of World War I by American Jewish groups, carried on relief activities on behalf of refugees, and later—as citizens of prewar Poland went back home—for the returnees. The displaced received baths, nourishing meals, shoes, clothing, medical treatment, and shelter ...
Refugees Passing through Rowne, Poland
This photograph, taken in 1921, shows a group of Jewish refugees in horse-drawn carts traveling through the town of Rowne, Poland (present-day Rovno or  Rivne, Ukraine) as they make their way home. World War I had created a massive population of displaced persons, which then increased with the Russian Revolution and ensuing civil war. Along with the dangers associated with war and revolution, Jews faced the added peril of pogroms. Rowne, a commercial hub with a large Jewish population, had experienced a series of pogroms in 1919, while the town ...
Hungry People Greet an American Relief Worker in Dachowa, Poland
This photograph, taken by an American aid worker on an inspection tour of Poland in 1921, shows adults and children in Dachowa awaiting relief. In 1918‒19, Jews in Poland lived through a reign of terror. While the country was at war with its neighbors to the east and the south, there were anti-Jewish pogroms and other attacks. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian organization formed at the beginning of World War I, conducted relief activities for the endangered Jewish population. After the war, the JDC provided ...
Jewish War Orphans in Dubno, Poland
The two children in this photograph, dressed in rags, are orphans in Dubno, Poland (present-day Ukraine). The devastation of World War I and the subsequent Russo-Polish War of 1919‒20 resulted in tens of thousands of orphaned Jewish children in Poland. These orphans could find shelter in numerous child care facilities operated by the Centralne Towarzystwo Opieki nad Sierotami (CENTOS—Federation of Associations for Orphans and Abandoned Children), an umbrella organization embracing more than 200 Jewish orphanages, boarding schools, and other educational facilities. CENTOS was funded primarily by local Jewish ...
Jewish Refugees in Rowne, Poland
This photograph of 1921 shows three starving Jewish refugees in Rowne, Poland (present-day Rovno or Rivne, Ukraine), staring at the camera. In addition to the widespread displacement, famine, disease, and economic hardship that existed in the aftermath of World War I, the Jewish populations of Eastern Europe underwent new suffering as a result of the Russian Revolution and subsequent civil war. Rowne, a commercial hub with a large Jewish population, was among the towns visited by the first team of field representatives sent to Poland by the American Jewish Joint ...
Milk Distribution at a Children’s Health Clinic in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland
The mothers shown in this photograph are receiving milk from the staff of a children’s health clinic at a town in Poland. The conflicts and pogroms that took place during and after World War I brought disease, famine, and dislocation to hundreds of thousands of Jews in Central and Eastern Europe, especially in Poland. In response, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian organization created at the start of World War I by American Jewish groups, established soup kitchens, reconstructed and equipped hospitals, supported orphanages, and sent ...
New Mothers Learn Infant Care at a Hadassah Child Welfare Center, Jerusalem
This photograph shows five new mothers with babies during a child care course provided by a Hadassah nurse in Jerusalem. In 1918‒21, the Women’s Zionist Organization of America (better known as Hadassah), established hospitals, a nursing school, and community health and preventive care programs in British Mandate Palestine. During those years, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian organization, provided $200,000 annually for the work of Hadassah in British Mandate Palestine. The JDC was formed in 1914 to send aid, including food, clothing, medicine, funds ...
Patients Wait in an Infirmary, Jerusalem
This photograph shows a line of patients waiting for treatment in an emergency room run by the Women’s Zionist Organization of America (better known as Hadassah). In 1918‒21, Hadassah established hospitals, a nursing school, and community health and preventive care programs in British Mandate Palestine. During those years, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian organization, provided $200,000 annually for the work of Hadassah in British Mandate Palestine. The JDC was formed in 1914 to send aid, including food, clothing, medicine, funds, and emergency supplies ...
Waiting for Food outside the Dreyfus Soup Kitchen, Jerusalem
This photograph shows hungry people, many of them children, as they wait for food at the Dreyfus Soup Kitchen in Jerusalem, which served about 900 meals a day in 1921. During and immediately after World War I, needy Jews living in British Mandate Palestine were cut off from their regular sources of support in Europe. Many depended on food relief and other kinds of financial support from American Jews. The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), a humanitarian organization organized at the start of World War I to address such ...
Prison Guard with Two Seated Prisoners in Cangues (Wooden Collars) Weighing about 16 Kilograms. Shanghai, China, 1874
In 1874-75, the Russian government sent a research and trading mission to China to seek out new overland routes to the Chinese market, report on prospects for increased commerce and locations for consulates and factories, and gather information about the Dungan Revolt then raging in parts of western China. Led by Lieutenant Colonel Iulian A. Sosnovskii of the army General Staff, the nine-man mission included a topographer, Captain Matusovskii; a scientific officer, Dr. Pavel Iakovlevich Piasetskii; Chinese and Russian interpreters; three non-commissioned Cossack soldiers; and the mission photographer, Adolf Erazmovich ...
Wooden Cages Exposing the Heads of Executed Criminals. China, 1874-75
In 1874-75, the Russian government sent a research and trading mission to China to seek out new overland routes to the Chinese market, report on prospects for increased commerce and locations for consulates and factories, and gather information about the Dungan Revolt then raging in parts of western China. Led by Lieutenant Colonel Iulian A. Sosnovskii of the army General Staff, the nine-man mission included a topographer, Captain Matusovskii; a scientific officer, Dr. Pavel Iakovlevich Piasetskii; Chinese and Russian interpreters; three non-commissioned Cossack soldiers; and the mission photographer, Adolf Erazmovich ...
Jailhouse at Ouro Preto
The Thereza Christina Maria collection is composed of 21,742 photos assembled by Emperor Pedro II (1825-91) throughout his life and donated by him to the National Library of Brazil. The collection covers a wide variety of subjects. It documents the achievements of Brazil and Brazilians in the 19th century and also includes many photographs of Europe, Africa, and North America. The jailhouse in the gold mining town of Ouro Preto was constructed between 1784 and 1837. It served as a prison through the 19th century. In 1938, the building ...
Sadiky Hospital, Tunis, Tunisia
This photochrome print from around 1899 is from “Views of Architecture and People in Tunisia” in the catalog of the Detroit Photographic Company. It depicts the Sadiky Hospital in the city of Tunis. The Detroit Photographic Company was launched as a photographic publishing firm in the late 1890s by Detroit businessman and publisher William A. Livingstone, Jr. and photographer and photo-publisher Edwin H. Husher. They obtained the exclusive rights to use the Swiss "Photochrom" process for converting black-and-white photographs into color images and printing them by photolithography. This process permitted ...
Contributed by Library of Congress
President John F. Kennedy Greets Peace Corps Volunteers, White House, South Lawn
This photograph shows President John F. Kennedy greeting Peace Corps volunteers on the South Lawn of the White House on August 9, 1962. Kennedy first proposed what became the Peace Corps in a speech at the University of Michigan on October 14, 1960, in which he challenged students to give two years of their lives to helping people in countries of the developing world. At the time, Kennedy was a member of the U.S. Senate campaigning for the presidency. Following his election, he signed an executive order establishing the ...
Hayward, California, Two Children of the Mochida Family who, with Their Parents, Are Awaiting Evacuation
In 1942, Executive Order 9066 ordered the removal of 110,000 civilians of Japanese descent, including 71,000 American citizens, from the western United States for placement in internment camps. The evacuees were suspected, without evidence, of being potential supporters of Japan, with which the United States was then at war. This photograph, taken by noted photographer Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) for the government agency known as the War Relocation Authority, shows one family waiting to be taken away. Lange’s notes on the photograph read: "Members of the Mochida family ...
Independence Day
This photograph shows a parade of police in ceremonial dress on February 7, 1974, Grenada's Independence Day. The photograph is from the collection of the Columbus Memorial Library of the Organization of American States (OAS), which includes 45,000 photographs illustrative of life and culture in the Americas. Many of the photographs were taken by prominent photographers on OAS missions to member countries. The OAS was established in April 1948 when 21 countries of the western hemisphere adopted the OAS Charter, in which they reaffirmed their commitment to the ...
Two Opium Smokers on Java
This carte-de-visite photograph shows two opium smokers on the island of Java. Opium smoking was introduced into Java by the Dutch, who established a major port at Batavia (present-day Jakarta) and imported Indian-grown opium for local sale and later for re-export to China. Opium smoking was at first mainly a part of social life among Javanese upper classes, but in the 19th century it increasingly spread to the laborers who served the expanding colonial economy. The photograph was taken by the firm of Woodbury & Page, which was established by ...
Bathing Room in the Women's Quarter of the Makassarese Village Near Master Cornelis in Batavia
This 1945 photograph shows women and children bathing at the Kampong Makassar internment camp near Batavia (present-day Jakarta) during World War II. After the Dutch East Indies fell to Japanese forces in 1942, many Dutch residents were forced into internment camps, where they stayed until the end of the war. At Kampong Makassar, which operated from January to August 1945, more than 3,600 women and children were held in a space measuring less than one square kilometer. The photograph is from the collections of the KITLV/Royal Netherlands Institute ...
A Flood on Java
This view, showing people on a raft in a flooded river in central Java's Jawa Tengah province is the work of Raden Saleh (1807-80), who is regarded by many scholars as the first modern artist from the Dutch East Indies. Saleh was born into a noble Javanese family and studied with a Belgian artist in the west Javan city of Bogor before going to study in the Netherlands. He spent 20 years in Europe before returning to his native country, where he lived for the remainder of his life ...
Why M.C.A.?: German Prisoners of War, World War One, before Y.M.C.A. Hut
This original ink-and-wash cartoon from World War I by Bruce Bairnsfather (1888-1959) depicts German prisoners of war lounging before a hut with a YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) sign. The cartoon is on a grey board. The witty holograph caption is on the back. Bairnsfather was a British army officer who was trained as an artist; while serving on the Western front in 1914-15, he made drawings of war scenes that were published in British magazines. He is best known as the creator of “Old Bill,” a fictional character ...
Contributed by Brown University Library
Map of Mexico City
Dated 1720, this map was produced by the government of Mexico City in order to improve urban sanitation through the collection of garbage. It shows the central part of the city in detail, including names of streets, plazas, hospitals, hospices, columns, small squares, arches, and other places.
Henry Solomon Wellcome: three-quarter length. Oil painting by Hugh Goldwin Riviere, 1906.
Henry S. Wellcome was born in 1853 to a poor farm family in Almond, Wisconsin. Upon his death in 1936, the Wellcome Trust, a British charity, was created. Many years later, it became the most highly endowed charity in the world, with assets of 15 billion pounds. Wellcome owed this achievement to his success as a pharmaceutical manufacturer and salesman. After training as a pharmacist at the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy, he went to England in 1880 to join his college friend S. Mainville Burroughs in a new pharmaceutical company ...
Contributed by Wellcome Library
A Woman Dropping Her Tea-cup in Horror upon Discovering the Monstrous Contents of a Magnified Drop of Thames Water Revealing the Impurity of London Drinking Water
This 1828 caricature shows a woman looking into a microscope to observe the monsters swimming in a drop of London water. In the 1820s, much of London’s drinking water came from the Thames River, which was heavily polluted by the city sewers that emptied into it. A Commission on the London Water Supply that was appointed to investigate this situation issued a report in 1828, which resulted in various improvements. The five water companies that served the north bank of the river upgraded the quality of their water by ...
Contributed by Wellcome Library
Convicts Leased to Harvest Timber
This early-20th-century photograph shows the harsh working conditions for African-American prisoners caught up in the convict labor system of the state of Florida, which had a notorious reputation for its severe penal labor system. Throughout the American South, African-Americans were far more likely than whites to be incarcerated for minor crimes, and imprisonment and forced labor were tools used by local and state governments to enforce Jim Crow racial restrictions. Agreements between correctional institutions and private corporations such as lumber companies and turpentine manufacturers enabled companies to use convict labor ...
Old Jewish Cemetery, Vilna, Russia
This 1922 photograph of the old Jewish cemetery in Vilnius, Lithuania, is from the Frank and Frances Carpenter Collection at the Library of Congress. Frank G. Carpenter (1855-1924) was an American writer of books on travel and world geography whose works helped to popularize cultural anthropology and geography in the United States in the early years of the 20th century. Consisting of photographs taken and gathered by Carpenter and his daughter Frances (1890-1972) to illustrate his writings, the collection includes an estimated 16,800 photographs and 7,000 glass and ...
Contributed by Library of Congress