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Category:Photochrom pictures from the Library of Congress

Licensing for Photochrom Prints from the Library of CongressEdit

17484. P.Z. Schloss Neuschwanstein, Sängersaal. Photochrom (ca. 1900) by Photoglob Zürich. Original photograph by Joseph Albert (Germany, 1825 - 1886).
53641 Mulberry Street, New York City. Copyright 1900 by Detroit Photographic Co.

The collection of photochroms at the Library of Congress contains two distinct types:

  • Photochroms from the Detroit Photographic Co. (DPC) in the United States, founded in 1898
  • Photochroms from Photoglob AG Zürich (PZ) in Switzerland, founded in 1889

The Detroit Photographic Co. – later Detroit Publishing Co. – was a subsidiary of Photoglob Zürich and printed some of their photochroms in license. The reference in the LOC description "Title from the Detroit Publishing Co., Catalogue X foreign section" does not signify that the print was originally issued by DPC in the United States, it simply means the print was sold in the U.S. by DPC.

The Photochrom Print Collection has almost 6,000 views of Europe and the Middle East and 500 views of North America. Published primarily from the 1890s to 1910s, these prints were created by the Photoglob Company in Zürich, Switzerland, and the Detroit Publishing Company in Michigan. The richly colored images look like photographs but are actually ink-based photolithographs, usually 6.5 x 9 inches.[1]

The prints are easily distinguished:

  • DPC prints show views from the United States, Canada, Cuba and Mexico. They are marked with a DPC copyright in the lower right corner and a "DPC" number (usually higher than 50000) along with a caption in the lower left corner.
  • PZ prints show views from Europe, Africa and Asia. They bear no copyright mark but most cards bear a golden "PZ" number (usually lower than 18000) along with the caption, usually in the lower left corner.
  • The PZ and DPC numbers are listed as "print number" in the LOC description.

The copyright notice from the LOC, "Photographs in this collection were published before 1923 and are therefore in the public domain", only applies to the United States, so only DPC photochroms should be marked with {{PD-US}}. The 1923 date is meaningless for determining copyright in Switzerland and other countries. For the PZ items in the collection, the following criteria apply:

  • Swiss copyright law for the chromolithographic work. From all information, {{PD-Switzerland-old-unknown}} applies since PZ had a policy of not disclosing the names of their lithographers.
  • Local copyright law for the original photographic work. Some of the original photographs were commissioned by PZ, others had been published previously and were purchased by PZ to convert to photochroms.


  • Sabine Arqué: Voyage en couleur, photochromie, 1876-1914, Bibliothèque Forney, 2009 [2]
  • Max Mittler: Deutschland um die Jahrhundertwende, Orell Füssli 1992 [3]
  • Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division, Photochrom Prints Collection [4]


This category has the following 5 subcategories, out of 5 total.

Media in category "Photochrom pictures from the Library of Congress"

The following 200 files are in this category, out of 447 total.

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