The George Grantham Bain Collection represents the photographic files of one of America’s earliest news picture agencies. The collection richly documents sports events, theater, celebrities, crime, strikes, disasters, political activities including the woman suffrage campaign, conventions and public celebrations. The photographs Bain produced and gathered for distribution through his news service were worldwide in their coverage, but there was a special emphasis on life in New York City. The bulk of the collection dates from the 1900s to the mid-1920s, but scattered images can be found as early as the 1860s and as late as the 1930s.
Available online are 39,744 glass negatives and a selection of about 1,600 photographic prints for which copy negatives exist. This represents all of the glass plate negatives the Library holds and a small proportion of the 50,000 photographic prints in the collection. The Library purchased the collection in 1948 from D.J. Culver. (Bain also deposited photographs for copyright during his career; photographs clearly acquired by the Library of Congress through copyright deposit are generally considered outside the scope of the George Grantham Bain Collection.)
The Library of Congress is sharing a portion of the Bain Collection photographs on Flickr, where Flickr community members add comments, notes, and tags. [ View Bain Collection photographs on Flickr | View more information about this project].