Ruby K. Worner Photo Album, 1925-1930

Ruby K. Worner Photo Album, 1925-1930

Finding Aid

Collection No. P11
D.C. Community Archives


In May 1999, Washingtoniana received an unbound photo album from Frances Johnson, a relative of Dr. Ruby K. Worner. Dr. Worner, born in San Jose, Ill., studied chemistry at the University of Chicago earning her B.S. in 1921, an M.S. in 1922, and a Ph.D. in 1925.

After teaching at the Oklahoma College for Women, Dr. Worner accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1927 and moved to Washington D.C. She remained with the Department of Agriculture until 1962 when she joined the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Scope and Content Note

The photo album contains 140 black-and-white prints and 59 negatives; the majority of the photographs are of noteworthy events and locations in the Washington, D.C.-metro area. Although all photographs are undated, based on the style of clothing, model of automobiles and city landmarks, the images date from between circa 1925 and 1935. The photographs range in size from 1”x1 ½” and 3”x4 ¼.”

Of importance are photographs of the Cherry Blossom Festival, President Herbert Hoover’s Inauguration, and National Guard Armory buildings located in Capitol Park. Other photographs include views of Mt. Vernon, Monticello, Lincoln Memorial, Great Falls, and the Tomb of the Unknown at Arlington National Cemetery. Forty-six of the 140 images have a corresponding negative, however 13 negatives do not have a matching print. All individuals who appear in the photographs are unidentified and the album appears to have been compiled as a remembrance of events and trips during the early part of Ruby K. Worner’s residence in Washington, D.C.

Processing Procedures

Since the album was unbound, it was impossible to determine the original order of the pages; therefore the album was processed in the order in which it was stored. Before removal of the photographs, the pages were photocopied onto acid-free paper in order to preserve the original appearance of the album pages. The photographs were removed from the album pages going from left to right, top to bottom.

Each image was placed in individual paper sleeves, intellectual information regarding the photograph was transferred onto the envelope, and the image was assigned a number. A general description of the image was added to the sleeve and any copy-negative information was recorded in the lower right corner. (Note: copy-negative numbers directly reflect those assigned to the images.)

The completed sleeves were then place in archival boxes for storage in the D.C. Community Archives. Negatives were also placed in an archival box, which was then placed in the negative storage cabinet.


There are no restrictions on viewing this collection and all photographs are in the “public domain,” therefore there are no restrictions on reproduction. Reproductions should appear with the proper attribution indicating that the photograph is housed in the Ruby K. Worner Collection and indicate that they appear “courtesy of Washingtoniana, DC Public Library.”

Series Descriptions

Photographs are filed numerically, however they have been grouped into various series for the purpose of this finding aid. (Note: Images are not filed by their series number, but are stored in numerical order)
  • Series 1: Union Station
  • Series 2: Cherry Blossom Festival
  • Series 3: General Washington, D.C.
  • Series 4: D.C. Metro Area
  • Series 5: Charlottesville
  • Series 6: Niagara Falls
  • Series 7: Miscellaneous Views

Series 1: Union Station (10 Prints, 14 Negatives)

Images: 1-10, N142, N143, N145, N146
Images in this series are of the exterior of Union Station, The Columbus Memorial, and the National Guard Armory buildings. The National Guard Armory buildings occupied the ground that is now Capitol Park and were built to house soldiers stationed in the District of Columbia during World War I. The buildings were demolished prior to or in 1929. They appear on the 1919 Baist map, but not on the 1929 map.

Series 2: Cherry Blossom Festival (64 Prints, 20 Negatives)

Images: 17-79, 89, N147
Images in this series contain multiple views of the cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin, presumably during the Cherry Blossom Festival. The Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, and several government buildings appear in these photos. Additionally, there is an image of two parked cars each with sightseeing price guides hanging from the car.

Series 3: U.S. Capitol (6 Prints, 6 Negatives)

Images: 12-16, 120, N144
General views of Washington include six images of the U.S. Capitol. Through additional photo research it was determined that three of these images are of Herbert Hoover’s inauguration on March 4,1929. The other views of the east side of the capitol appear to be of an undetermined official function. 

Series 4: District of Columbia and Metro Area (20 Prints, 9 Negatives)

Images: 80-88, 90-97, 118,119, 140, N141, N148-N153
This series of images include points of interest within the District of Columbia and the surrounding area. These include Great Falls on the Potomac River, National Zoo birdhouse, Franciscan Monastery, and Mount Vernon estate. Images with no print include views of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, the Lincoln Memorial, reflecting pool, and the Washington Monument.

Series 5: Charlottesville (10 Prints, 4 Negatives)

Images: 130-139
Views of the Charlottesville, Va. area include several exterior views of Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, as well as scenes of the Rotunda at the University of Virginia. There is one photograph of a woman standing next to a historic marker. Although it was impossible to determine the precise location of this monument, its placement within the album suggests that it is located in the Charlottesville area.

Series 6: Niagara Falls  (14 Prints, 0 Negatives)

Images: 98-111
This series of images are of Niagara Falls, both the American and Canadian waterfalls. There are several images of people near the Niagara River as well as a snapshot of the “Maid of the Mist” tour boat.

Series 7: Miscellaneous Views  (16 Prints, 6 Negatives)

Images: 11, 112-117, 121-129
These photographs are of locations that were unable to be determined. They include two group portraits, four images of two women horseback riding, people in a car, a farm, and several images of a boat ride along what is presumably the Potomac River.

Box Inventory

Box 1

  • Images 1 – 70

Box 2

  • Images 71 – 140

Box 3 (Stored in Negative Cabinet)

  • Negatives 1 – 153
Prepared by Mark S. Greek, Photo Archivist, December 2005

DC Public Library, Special Collections
D.C. Community Archives
901 G St. NW, Room 307
Washington, D.C. 20001

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