N

The Nichols Collection of Virginia Courthouses

C1:179
1965-1970
643 35mm slides, 45 postcards, 98 prints, assorted booklets/pamphlets/travel brochures/maps, 1 travel notebook

Southampton County Courthouse

27 March 1968

Charlotte Shaver Nichols (1911-1999) of Arlington and her assistant Pansy Wiltshire (1905-1998) set out to photograph all 96 Virginia courthouses between 1966 and 1970 in anticipation of publishing a book. According to a write up in the Byron Weston Record, Vol. 45, No. 3, the original collection contained 360 slides of courthouses.

Charlotte, or Lottie as she was known to her family, was born in Prince William in 1911 and lived in Fauquier as a child. She graduated from Oakton High in Fairfax and then lived in Alexandria as a young woman. She married a physician, Harold Nichols, and they lived in an apartment building in south Arlington overlooking Four Mile Run, just north of the City of Alexandria.

Pansy Wiltshire was a friend of Charlotte’s who lived in Arlington and worked for the federal government at the Federal Communications Commission. She accompanied Charlotte on many of the courthouse trips and can be seen in a few candid shots, along with Ms. Nichols, in the courthouse series.

After Lottie died in 1999, one of her sisters, Dorothy Shaver Harrington Yancey, received her courthouse project collection, as well as her slides. Dorothy willed the collection to the Virginia Bar Association where they declined the gift and returned part of the collection to the estate, which … Read the rest

National High Altitude Photography (NHAP) and National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) Collection

C1: 175
1980–1991

883 photographic prints, approx. 19.5 x 19.5 inches

C1:175

These large-format aerial photographs cover extensive portions of Virginia, and include parts of the bordering states of North Carolina, Maryland, and West Virginia. They were produced as part of efforts coordinated by the U.S. Geological Survey to provide cloud-free aerial photography coverage of the United States for use by state and federal agencies.

The National High Altitude Photography program (NHAP) photographs were taken from an altitude of 40,000 feet. Each image covers approximately 68 square miles.

The National Aerial Photography Program (NAPP) photographs were taken from an altitude of 20,000 feet, and each image covers approximately 32 square miles.

Both groups were taken with color infrared film, which renders most of the vegetation in red or magenta.

Arrangement and access:

The NHAP set includes 629 photographs taken from 1980 to 1986. The NAPP set includes 254 photographs taken from 1989 to 1991. Both sets are organized by a film roll number followed by a frame number (example: 513-171 is Roll 513, Frame 171). Roll and frame numbers as well as photography dates are printed on the images. Inventories have been created for both sets, searchable by state/county and by roll/frame numbers. These inventories also include latitude and longitude data for each photograph.

Provenance:

Transferred from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation, 2012.

Read the rest

1939 New York World’s Fair Photograph Collection

C1: 001
ca. 1939
211 albums, many in duplicate and some in triplicate, 3,031 unique images

C1:001 1939 New York World’s Fair Photograph Collection.

Touted as the largest and most magnificent exposition of all time, the New York World’s Fair opened at Flushing Meadow in April 1939. In the Court of States, one exhibition was strikingly different from the rest: the Virginia Room, “an island of quiet” amid the fair’s raucous and more sensational attractions. Leslie Cheek, Jr., designer of the Virginia Room, and his team of artists developed a plan for a spacious circular lounge with the visitor’s focus drawn to an ornamental fountain theatrically lit from above and below. Around the fountain’s statue—an allegorical representation of the “Spirit of Virginia” drawing water from the clouds—were clipped boxwoods and a series of deep cushioned seats and low tables. Cheek remarked that a visitor to the Virginia Room should find “an intelligently arranged display, free of ballyhoo and high pressure salesmanship.” The design offered tired fairgoers a place to sit, a chance to enjoy a complimentary glass of ice water served by a white-jacketed waiter, and an array of large photograph albums prepared by the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce.

Taken together, the Virginia Room albums can be thought of as a sprawling infomercial for the state, promoting it as a place not just of historic shrines and natural beauty, but as one of scientific, … Read the rest