Library of Congress Offers Online Images from the Great Depression to World War II

Article excerpt

The Library of Congress has announced that 45,000 printed and unprinted images in the Farm Security Administration (FSA)Office of War Information (OWI) photographic collection can he viewed at the Library's American Memory Web site at http://www.loc.gov.

According to the announcement, "America from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information, 1935-1944" forms an extensive pictorial record of American life and includes some of the most famous documentary photographs ever produced. Created by U.S. government photographers, they show Americans at home, at work, and at play. In the early years, the photographs emphasized rural life and the hardships caused by the Great Depression, farm mechanization, and the Dust Bowl. In later years, the photographers turned their attention to the mobilization effort for World War II.

This release includes several unprinted images from Walker Evans' photographs that led to the book published with writer James Agee, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. This first release of FSA-OWI photographs also includes work by Ben Shahn, Gordon Parks, Marion Post Wolcott, Carl Mydans, John Vachon, Jack Delano, John Collier, and others.

The release marks the first phase of a project to make available all 164,000 black-and-white negatives--both printed and unprinted--from the FSA-OWI collection. Additional images and text will be added to the database quarterly. These black-and-white photographs link to the more than 1,600 FSA-OWI color images available since 1995 on the Library's American Memory Web site. …