Negative Log Book Number 7, (75-001 to 75-16353)

About the Project

For almost its entire history, the Smithsonian Institution has used photography to document artifacts, events, and exhibits. The body of work began in 1869 when our first photographer, Thomas William Smillie, started the valuable photographic catalog. In 1971, the Smithsonian Photographic Services (SPS) was established, continuing the legacy of a century’s worth of photography. In the following four decades, its photographers brought the the power of the camera to the Smithsonian's growing museums, archives and research centers. They recorded their photo shoots in a series of handwritten notebooks referred to as the “green logbooks,” an estimated 3 million photographic negatives. Our only “key” to understanding what is in these photographic collections lies in the photographer's handwritten negative logbooks.

Join other digital volunteers helping to unlock the visual history of the Smithsonian Institution and you might uncover forgotten photography from our endlessly fascinating past!

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