Historicalimages.net is an online resource specialized in collecting visual memories of our past. We scout different public and private libraries with images in the public domain and also private collections. We catalog, clean up the files, optimally resize if it is needed, and keyword them, so the access to those is easy and quick. Furthermore, we are continuously expanding our library and hope to become a reference for anyone that needs to dive into our graphic history.

Can we understand and archive the world with our visual perception?

That’s a question with no easy answer. It is universally accepted that we interact with our surroundings with the help of our five senses. Of those, sight might be the most important of all. But what we see with our eyes is less important as how we interpret it with our brain.

Every frozen moment in our memories is only an interpretation of what happened. It needs a lot of context no decipher what was really unfolding in front our eyes. We connect the dots and arrive to perceptions that might be very different to those that another human being made seeing the same thing. That might be the reason that history is a social science and not a hard one. We continuously drift among different evaluations trying to figure out what happened.

Since human beings were able to paint inside caves, we have relied more and more on any visual reproduction of reality that our mind’s eye. It seems as if the act of reproducing what was perceived at the moment of the recorded action was a better way to stay close to that moment and go back to it time after time, even when our memories started to fade away or completely transform a specific event.

Geronimo Apache leader 1904
Assistant surgeon of the Medical Staff U.S. Volunteers Infantry Regiment in the American Civil War,

From the old master painters crafting during days to months a single event, to the millions of pictures taken now in a single second in our world, we rely on archiving frozen moments to better understand the past maybe to also comprehend or at least anticipate the future. So, back to the original question:” Can we understand and archive the world with our visual perception? ” Yes, we can. Or, at least, try to understand it by our own parameters.

Historicalimages.net is committed to access this visual information of the past as easy and quickly as possible. Sometimes an important king, and another time an unknown peasant in an anonymous town. But all those moments have an intrinsic value. They allow us to understand the present and give us hints of what can or could happen in the future. Here you will find many of those glimpses to our past. The birth of a new world in America, the two World Wars that teared our whole planet apart, the landing on the moon, the birth and death of prominent leaders,….. With our extensive research, we hope everyone can find here that moment in time that needed to be recorded and remembered.

Street car at the beginning of the XX century

The paradox of reality is that no image is as compelling as the one which exists only in the mind’s eye.

Shana Alexander

Lunch cars Washington 1918