Digital Archive: National Portrait Gallery Database

Aaron Schwartz – Looking for images to research, I looked through the National Portrait Gallery’s online database. Featuring collections of portraits ranging from Presidents to other notable people throughout time, the database offers depictions of people throughout history, and as a result I found it to e a very good source for images, with notable caveats. One takeaway, for instance, is that when searching for certain people or ideologies, many of the images are not shown, instead only showing  grey screen and the words “Image Restricted”, causing me to wonder who would be restricting these artifacts and why. However, for the images that do show up, they are properly cited and would be a great source for a wide variety of research projects. Furthermore, the database also shows in certain cases if an individual can go and see the works in the National Portrait Gallery in person, making this database a useful resource before going to the portrait gallery in person. While many of the pictures are self explanatory and do not need captions, others are not so straight forward, and still do not have captions accompanying them, making deciphering what the picture is depicting difficult in certain circumstances.

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