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.
Vintage photos of:
June 1938. In Memphis, hundreds of colored laborers congregate near the bridge every morning at daylight in hopes of work chopping cotton on a plantation, where they are taken by truck. Reduced acreage has made employment scarce for this class of seasonal labor in all towns. "You can't live the commonest way on six bits a day. Not alone nor no way. A man like me can't get no foothold. It's a mighty tough old go. The people here in the morning are hungry, raggedy, but they don't make no hungry march." View full size. Photograph by Dorothea Lange.
June 1938. Pittsburg County, Oklahoma. "Family walking on highway, five children. Started from Idabel, bound for Krebs. In 1936 the father farmed on thirds and fourths at Eagleton, McCurtain County. Was taken sick with pneumonia and lost farm. Was refused relief in county of 15 years' residence because of temporary residence elsewhere." View full size. Photo by Dorothea Lange.