Daily Worker Negatives Site Index


A short description of the story behind the images that would build a sense of mystery and make people want to explore the archive. It would talk about the Daily Worker, the Communist Party and the Left in New York City during this period, and it would hint at the mysterious identity of the authors of the photographs.

On the homepage there will be a single compelling photograph, or a group of photographs that are particularly good and representative, through which viewers could access the archive. At the top of the page will be the navigation as well as a search box with a link to an advanced search. The search box will be on every page in the same place.

An alternate design for the homepage would be to have photographs representing specific categories of the archive that users will be able to click on in order to browse those categories.

The typeface and design of the homepage will attempt to mirror the 1930s and 1940s typeface of the Daily Worker.

About the Archive / How To Search The Archive

A short description of what is in the online archive, including information on the Daily Worker and the Communist Party. This page will also describe the relationship of the archive to the Daily Worker Photo Morgue, or the archive of originals, at Tamiment. The section will also explain how and why images were selected for the archive from the larger collections of Daily Worker prints and negatives at Tamiment. There will be a link to the online finding aid on the Tamiment web site, explaining how the finding aid can be used to search for images in the online archive, and also for prints. There will also be an explanation of how to use the site’s search and browse capacities.


This section will include three short historical and critical essays to illuminate the relationship of the photos to the events they depict and to their creators, and also contextualize the images and their creators within the history of photography.

One essay will be on the history and visual culture of the Daily Worker and the Communist Party between 1930 and 1950, illustrated with photos from the online archive, as well as images of pages of the Daily Worker, looking at how the paper used text and images together. This essay might also explore the processes of making a newspaper, and how the photos were transformed by this process. The essay will also discuss the question of the photographers themselves—who were they?

The second essay will be on the photographs themselves and the unknown photographers who took them. The essay will contextualize the photographs within the history of social documentary photography and photojournalism, and its ascendancy in the 1930s and 1940s. This essay will include images by other contemporary photographers side by side with photos from the unknown photographers whose work is represented in the collection, to illustrate similarities and differences. The idea is to understand more about these photographers and their motivations and influences, and bring to the fore debates that still rage over the basic identity of photography—is it to transmit expression or to make accurate and lasting documents or reality? Is there such a thing as objectivity in photography? What is photography's relationship to history?

The third essay will be on New York City and radical or left politics during this time, since so many of the photos were taken in New York City. This essay might include photos from the collection that depict recognizable New York scenes or figures. The essay will help guide users through the New York City content in the archive, and help answer the question: how does the archive add to our knowledge of the history of NYC during this time? This essay could also link to a map which shows where the photographs were taken.


In addition to a search box with a link to an advanced search at the top of each page, the Browse section will allow users to browse by year, place taken, and category (e.g., Strikes, Parades, Union Activity, Political Campaigns, People and Portraits, Entertainment, Sports, City Life). Users will also be able to browse by subject, and this will require adding this information in the process of scanning but will provide a useful index. Clicking on these categories and subjects would call up a database driven list of results that you could scroll through.

The page for each document, or image, will contain descriptive information relating the shoot it is from, as well as a date, the place it was taken, the name of the photographer, the name of the collection it belongs to, and where the original collection is located, the medium (the type of negative), a digital ID, the Shoot-Negative ID taken from the official Tamiment finding aid, and copyright information.

The user will not be able to download a high-resolution copy of the photograph, but will be able to view it at a large size and study it. Like the NYPL Digital site, users will be able to grab a link to embed the image into a blog or web page. There will be a link to request a high-resolution copy, or a print, through Tamiment.


A visual representation, in the form of a map, of where the photographers worked and where the images were taken. Clicking on different parts of the map will call up database results of images taken in those areas.


A timeline of events related to the history of the Communist Party and the Left, the Daily Worker and New York City between 1930-1950, illustrated by photographs from the archive.


Information on how to order high-resolution copies, and prints. Information on how and where to access the collection of original negatives and prints that comprise the Daily Worker Photo Morgue, as well as where to find the Daily Worker on microfilm to learn more about the stories in which the images appeared.

Contact information for permission to publish the images.

Add a New Comment
Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License