Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (Library of Congress)

Overview

Arthur Rothstein; PortraitsIn 1997, the Library of Congress published a book entitled Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States (New York: Knopf, 1997; see http://www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9711/eyes.html). Eyes of the Nation offered a pictorial overview of American history, with approximately 500 illustrations. Most of these illustrations reproduced public domain objects within the Library of Congress' special collections (e.g. prints, posters, maps, manuscript pages, photographs, designs, movie stills, cartoons, etc.). According to James H. Billington, the Librarian of Congress, these images were selected from the library's vast collections to “show how Americans have viewed themselves, and have been viewed by others, in the course of this great work-in-progress that is the United States.” (Eyes of the Nation, preface).


Since its publication, Eyes of the Nation has been widely used in K-12 curriculum. It will also be of interest to more advanced scholars and teachers of American Studies, as well as those engaged in specialized disciplines such as African-American Studies, Women's Studies, or Native American Studies.


Simultaneous with the publication of the book, a CD (and later DVD) version with many more images of objects from the Library of Congress was published by ArtLook. A selection of works from both the original book, as well as the larger body of digital images produced for the CD/DVD version, are now available in the ARTstor Digital Library. Since its publication, Eyes of the Nation has been widely used in K-12 curriculum. It will also be of interest to more advanced scholars and teachers of American Studies, as well as those engaged in specialized disciplines such as African-American Studies, Women's Studies, or Native American Studies.

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Collection information

Total size of collection* 5,443
Percentage of completion 100%
Search terms eyes of the nation
Collection URL http://library.artstor.org/library/collection/loc_eyes

* Image totals should be regarded as an approximation until a given collection is 100% complete. Users should also bear in mind that the number of images available to them may vary from country to country, reflecting ARTstor’s approach to addressing an international copyright landscape that itself varies from country to country.

Last updated: April 14, 2010

Image Credits

Arthur Rothstein; Portraits; Image and original data from: Virga, Vincent, and Curators of the Library of Congress, with commentary by Alan Brinkley (2004). Eyes of the Nation: A Visual History of the United States. Charlestown, MA: Bunker Hill Publishing.

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