Thursday, January 21, 2010

History lesson | Library of Congress | amazing!

I could spend hours and hours sitting in the middle of stacks of old books. I wish I had more time to read, I want to soak it all up...and then some. Lately I have been having this completely unnatural affair with the Library of Congress Web site. There is so much information available it is astounding! Tonight I went in search of digital books to listen to while I work out. Not surprisingly I got a bit distracted when I started looking at the more than 1 million digital images available on the site.

Look at this one:

"Girl in Cherryville Mill. Location: Cherryville, North Carolina / Photo by Lewis W. Hine"

The titles aren’t glamorous, they are just information, but that’s part of the fun.

This particular image was taken as part of a series of photographs from the records of the National Child Labor Committee in 1904. (All the details can be found HERE.)

I can’t help but wonder what her name was. Cherryville, NC is in the middle of no where and is itty bitty and a population of just under 6,000 people (2008). The town was originally known as White Pines, but when a local resident planted cherry trees along the rail line the railroad engineers began calling it Cherryville. I bet her name was something like Margaret Ann or Mary Alice…doesn’t that sound just southern enough?

It is likely that you will have a little history lesson again soon...I just can't get enough. I don't know about you, but it makes me extremely grateful for the historians that have worked so hard to preserve our heritage. And for that matter, grateful for the artists/photographers/authors that created the work in the first place.

Go check it might get lost in the archives of your very own history!

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