In the pre-digital era, the age of mechanical reproduction, the New York Public Library's Picture Collection provided the free circulation of prints, photographs, postcards and other clippings to its constituency of artists, illustrators, advertisers, and businessmen. It was, in essence, the Google Images of its day. Since its initial beginnings in 1914 the Picture Collection has been a unique public service for New York City's thriving educational, cultural and commercial enterprises, both as a muse and as a critical resource. The story of the Picture Collection is also the story of Romana Javitz (1903-1980) who headed the Picture Collection from 1929 to 1968. Words on Pictures presents previously unpublished writings and interviews by Javitz, revealing her remarkable understanding of the social impact of print and film media, especially photography and cinema.