Monday, October 18, 2010

Digital Collections: Lewis Hine Collection at the UMBC

The Special Collections Department of the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, has digitized 4,735 images from the work of famed photographer Lewis Hine, The Lewis Hine Collection contains images from his work with the National Child Labor Committee (NCLC), which asked him to document the circumstances of child labor throughout the United States; Hine worked for the NCLC off and on between 1907 and 1934.  In the words of the UMLB description:
Lewis Hine, c. 1930, 10-year-old
shoeboy. Lewis Hine Collection,
UMBC Kuhn Library.
[Hine] traveled from Maine to Texas documenting children working in factories, mines, mills, farms, and in street trades. He photographed their living conditions as well. The photographs were published in newspapers and magazines, as well as mounted on posters for NCLC conventions. His photographs did not embellish the child laborers’ destitution, and instead showed accurate and poignant depictions of their circumstances. Hine’s photographs were influential in changing public opinion about child labor and subsequently in the passing of legislation to protect children with stricter labor laws. . . . His child labor photographs have proven to be his most important work, because they document irrefutably the difficult circumstances suffered by young workers. These approximately 5,000 images are the most extensive known photographic record of child labor.