About This Collection
The collection of more than 45,000 items (negatives, transparencies and prints) came to the Library of Congress in the early 1980s. The online collection provides access to 29,000 negatives and color transparencies. These were copied during a special preservation project in 1991-1993. Covering a time period roughly between 1896 and 1970 with the bulk portion dating 1935 - 1955, the Gottscho-Schleisner collection provides a detailed look at architectural styles and trends throughout the nation from the perspective of the architect as well as the client. The collection is accompanied by logbooks which provide a chronological negative list and an index of clients. Gottscho was commissioned to document work produced by architects, sculptors, and artists as well as several major publications included among his clients were House Beautiful and Home and Garden. Also among his clients were musicians, writers, and the social elite. While not photojournalists, Gottscho and Schleisner's images do serve as a document of social change from a particular vantage point of the middle and upper classes of society. Gottscho's particular interest were the projects and work of landscape architects and the gardens of the major property owners.
The collection also provides a look at nature through the eyes of Samuel Gottscho. Another major highlight of the Gottscho-Schleisner collection are the images from the 1939 New York Worlds Fair. It should be noted the Library of Congress does not own the complete Gottscho-Schleisner collection. Other parts are held by the Avery Architectural Library, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Brooklyn Public Library.