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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

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Shovel-Ready: 1937

Shovel-Ready: 1937

February 1937. Calipatria, California. Native of Indiana in a migratory labor contractor's camp. "It's root hog or die for us folks." Large format negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.


That has got to be... of the most haunting photos I've ever seen in my life.

Dorothea Lange

She was a real American genius for capturing unpretentious human expression.

She looks like one tough lady.

Hope things got better for her as time went on. Agree, these people were tough. But a lot of people these days have it pretty tough, and they're making it.

When Poor Was Really Poor

An unfortunate time that many today would find totally untenable, yet these folks somehow made it. Thankfully, most of their children thrived in the 50s and 60s. Like the old John Wayne movie, these people had "True Grit".

THE 100-YEAR-OLD PHOTO BLOG | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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