Check Out Our Genealogy Blog »

Vintage Book & Publication Images

Images-soldiers homeThere is more to knowing your ancestor’s past besides their names, dates, and hometown. Many enjoyed reading books, magazines, newspapers and special publications; several of which had illustrations, drawings and photos. Even if you had an ancestor who couldn’t read, they did enjoy looking over those drawings and photos of people, events and places outside their own hometown.

 Images - coffee

On the Internet Archives site is a great collection of such vintage book images that you can view now. There are thumbnail (smaller) images which you can place the computer cursor over and a short description appears. There are images of places, maps, catalogs, sheet music, foods, store products, ships, rural life, homes, as well as scenic wonders. When you enlarge the image by clicking on it, it becomes larger and has more detailed information about the image and its source. You can download the image to your own computer by using the download arrow in the lower right corner and select what size you need.

There are over 2,626,000 images to view and select from. The time periods and subjects are wide spread. Also in the description it provides links to view the complete page and pages in the book, magazine, etc. that the image came out of.


If you use the search box in the upper right, it will call up all the images from the full collection, even more recent photos and images. If you can provide a date or time frame, it will narrow it to that era.

A few unusual sources of images include the Clemson University yearbook of 1903. It can be fascinating browsing over these book images from the time of life of your ancestors.


Photos: Old Soldiers’ Home in Togus, Maine from ‘New England Magazine’ dated 1887; New York Coffee can in 1903; Hat from Fall and Winter 1890 Fashion Catalog and 1903 Oconeean of Clemson University.

Related genealogy blogs:

African-American Images


American Places in 1850


< Return To Blog