Writers on history often regard the inclusion of illustrations as no more than a condescension to readers who should not be thus diverted from their own prose. A scholar who would shudder away from doctoring a quotation does not hesitate to reproduce any picture that comes easily to hand of an individual or an historical event. The illustrations they favor were often originally drawn for children's primers.
To simplify the process there have grown up commercial archives which defend writers from having to do their own pictorial research. I investigated one of the most successful. The proprietor, who recognized my name, was eager to display his wares. He was proud to have six renditions of Fulton Claremont. Damn him, so I thought, I warned him that they were all spurious. Far from being grateful, he escorted me to the street and slammed the door behind me.
I joined with some of my colleagues in a campaign to induce historical writers to place illustrations on the same level as verbal quotations. We were getting going when libraries, museums, and historical societies decided that they had opened up a new source of revenue. Although they allowed quotation from documents free of charge, they added to the actual cost of the photograph a "reproduction fee." Although this does not faze popular magazines and advertisements, it is very destructive to conscientious scholars.