Digital Vintage Design Collections…nes_Page_9.htm – Library of Congress, best way to browse is by topic here – (Note: stuff that is not allowed to see in high resolution can often be found by name in a Google image search at much better quality.)

This from Columbia University is great for the typography use in the headers. – They have other stuff but it is hard to find much that is useful for graphic design

This one – has a lot of old scanned literature but not really much of a way to just browse.

Another University collection –

NY public library –…cfm?topic=all

There is this one as well focused more on architectural renderings obviously.

Another architecture focused one – alot of these are just photographs of buildings, but there are some drawings and the architectural detail stuff like the “Decorative Elements” is very good for reference if you need to draw some of that kind of stuff.

Then there is one of my all time favorites , the Dave Rumsey Collections – If you like vintage maps their cartography is the best resource I know of, and the resolutions of much of the stuff here is amazing.

Other cartography stuff if you like


NYPL is one of my favorite resources.
The Lewis Hynes collection is incredible.

I can also spend a couple hours on the LOC just browsing old Civil War stuff.

Just a reminder, a lot of this stuff is subject to licensing.

And a side note, there are a lot of stock sites that charge way too much for Public Domain images available on the LOC. While the acquisition process looks daunting, the LOC is a really nice bunch of people and are very willing to help you out. There are a couple people there I’ve worked with often and loved talking with over the years. Always a pleasure dealing with them.

The NARA (National Archives) is another great historical resource.
But if the image isn’t available for download there are a few hoops you have to jump through to get images, the major one being hiring a research service that has access to the archive. And sometimes, if the item is in literal cold storage (deep preservation in a cold facility) that can take a couple months.


If you are into maps,
try this LOC resource.
Once you click on the maps, the zoom level is fantastic.


Another resource for vintage clipart.


Vintage Sewing Patterns

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Ok, since when did “vintage” and “antique” mean anything less than 50 years???
My mom probably had hundreds of patterns in a box in her sewing room from the early 60s thru the 70s. Had I known they would be salable…

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Ohh, awesome resources. Thanks!

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