Collection consists of five units of photographs (one with two parts), each separately cataloged. Units I-IV consist primarily of images of immigrants, children and workers that Lewis Hine printed in 1939 for the Russell Sage Foundation Library. Unit V contains images made in Europe for the Red Cross, images of Hine and his family, and images that supplement or duplicate images in units I-IV. Accompanying the photographs are manuscript and published materials, including original mounts and captions, a typescript text describing Hine's photography of immigrants, tear sheets from publications containing Hine's images, and later publications about Hine and his work.
Ownership: Transferred from U.S. History Local History and Geneology Division, 1986; Gift of the Russell Sage Foundation Library, 1949.
Statement of responsibility: L. W. Hine.
Content: Includes photographs by Hine, and images of Hine by other photographers.
Biographical/historical: Photographs by the pioneering social photographer Lewis W. Hine (1874-1940) came to the Library primarily in two ways. Romana Javitz, head of the Library's Picture Collection, began to solicit gifts and buy prints from Hine himself shortly after he exhibited his photographs of the Empire State Building in 1931. Then, in 1949, the Russell Sage Foundation transferred to the Library a series of prints it had commissioned from Hine for its library. The foundation had asked Hine in his final years to create a systematic, definitive collection of his life work. The commission was only partly completed; Hine mounted the earliest series uniformly with typed captions on dark gray board (which accounts for the unusual appearance of some of these photos); and chose photos for the later series, but died in 1940 before preparing the latter group for library use. Mounting and titling was completed in the 1960s by the staff of what is now the Irma and Paul Milstein Division of United States History, Local History and Genealogy. These photographs were transferred in the late 1980s to the Photography Collection of the Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs.