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Based on your wishes I will select a photo from the Library of Congress’ photo archive personally for you. A Make 100 project.
Based on your wishes I will select a photo from the Library of Congress’ photo archive personally for you. A Make 100 project.
105 backers pledged $5,438 to help bring this project to life.

About

100 Views of America: Library of Congress’ Photo Archive

$5,438

105

What will you get out of it?

From the seemingly endless archives of the Library of Congress, I will find a photo you’ve never seen before but that you would absolutely want to have hanging on your wall. I will pick a photo specifically for you and 99 other backers, according to your personal wishes.

South Water Street Illinois Central Railroad freight terminal, Chicago, Illinois / By Jack Delano / 1943
South Water Street Illinois Central Railroad freight terminal, Chicago, Illinois / By Jack Delano / 1943

Do you want a photo of a striking skyline? Of a landscape, animals, workers, factories? Should it specifically be a photo of a mine in Utah in the 1970s? You decide, and I will do my best to fulfill your wishes. Alternatively, you can let me decide and be surprised. With your help, I will create a collection of 100 photos of the United States of America.

Bingham Canyon Mine, Copperton, Utah / Unknown Photographer / 1972
Bingham Canyon Mine, Copperton, Utah / Unknown Photographer / 1972

If large photo prints aren’t your thing, you can still support this endeavor in return for a single postcard – or a set of five postcards. And if large photo prints are really your thing, you can get one of five huge 20×30" prints, also selected specifically for you.

The photos will be printed on high-quality photo paper, leaving a small white border on the prints to allow for easy framing. Each print and postcard will note the photo’s location, and if available its photographer and creation date, on the back.

Why am I doing this? 

The United States are a vast, incredibly beautiful country. I’m living here now, but as a foreigner, it still often seems to me that I’m on a movie set. I’ve been fascinated by the Library of Congress’ photo archive of this country’s nature, architecture, and people for years. With this Kickstarter project, I’m combining my love for America’s beauty with my interest in the Library’s photo collection.

Over the years I’ve traversed that archive for weeks on end, so I know my way around it. I created personal photo books and ran a blog with photos from the archive. I’m currently sharing shop window type and lettering from the archive on Twitter.

How will I find your perfect photo?

You will fill out a questionnaire giving me both basic parameters as well as more specific ideas that you’d love to see matched, too. I expect to always being able to find photos matching a basic motive choice or a location by state. Or you let me surprise you!

Left: Questa, New Mexico / John Collier /1943 — Right: Drillers at Fort Loudoun Dam, Tennessee / Jack Delano / 1942
Left: Questa, New Mexico / John Collier /1943 — Right: Drillers at Fort Loudoun Dam, Tennessee / Jack Delano / 1942

The photography archive has its limitation, so while I will try to match more specific points like the exact place and year, I can’t guarantee that. You might want a photo of three horses, but might end up with a photo of four horses in front of a beautiful mountain. That still sounds pretty good, right?

Why should you back this project?

With your help I will be able to take this journey into the Library’s archive and create a collection of 100 beautiful photos from around the country. As a labor of love, this project aims to shine a light on the Library of Congress, to help them continue their mission of preserving and sharing knowledge and history.

Million Dollar Bridge, Cordova, Alaska / Jet Lowe / 1984
Million Dollar Bridge, Cordova, Alaska / Jet Lowe / 1984

In the end, the project will create a body of 100 photos from the Library of Congress’ archives, only connected by the thread of your questionnaires and my selection. I hope to exhibit these photos on the web and in a physical space in NYC later in 2018.

Why wouldn’t you just print photos from the archive yourself?

Works by the U.S. Government are not eligible for U.S. copyright protection, which is how I am able to share my appreciation for the archive with you. But you can use the archive yourself, too, so please do!

Many of the Library of Congress’ photos are available as high resolution image files for anyone to download, adapt, print, etc. I absolutely want to encourage you to delve into the archive yourself! 

Risks and challenges

I know the archive well, and I know how to find what I’m looking for despite the sometimes lacking meta information. But I cannot guarantee that I will be able to exactly fulfill all your specific ideas. If I’m not able to fulfill even your basic parameters (basic motive or state), I will offer you three alternative photos that I find fit your ideas the best and will let you decide.

Part of this project’s charm is that you invest into a yet unknown piece of art. Will you love your photo? I certainly hope so! But I can’t guarantee it.

I will work with a U.S. based, high-quality printer that will produce and ship your prints and postcards. I will not be able to control each print myself before they reach you, but will do my best to solve any printing and shipping problems we encounter.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    Postcard: Send me one!

    Out of the 100 photos I’ll collect for this project I will send you a random one of them as a postcard.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 25 or more About US$ 25

    Postcard: Set of 5

    Out of the 100 photos I’ll collect for this project I will send five random ones to you in an envelope. You can send them to friends or hang them around the house.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 55 or more About US$ 55

    Large 12×18" Print (30×45cm)

    I will select a photo specifically for you from the Library of Congress. You will fill out a questionnaire that will guide my search for you. You can pick the decade, location, and other factors, and I will do my best to fulfill your wishes. Limited to 95 backers.

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    Limited 52 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 125 or more About US$ 125

    Huge 20×30" Print (50×75cm)

    I will select a photo specifically for you from the Library of Congress. You will fill out a questionnaire that will guide my search for you. You can pick the decade, location, and other factors, and I will do my best to fulfill your wishes. Limited to 5 backers.

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Funding period

- (30 days)