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:
December 1936. "Wife of owner-operator and wife of hired hand cleaning chickens in cellar preparatory to canning them. Chickens at this time of year are bringing six cents per pound. These are for roasting. Harry Madsen farm, near Dickens, Iowa. 360 acres, owner operated." Medium format nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.
November 1936. Eighty-year-old woman living in squatters' camp on the outskirts of Bakersfield, California. "If you lose your pluck you lose the most there is in you -- all you've got to live with." View full size. Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration.
December 1936. "Marcus Miller and family in shack that he built himself. Spencer, Iowa. This is half the house. Miller is a hired hand who has managed to save enough to make a part payment on seven and a half acres of land. However, he is most anxious to get steady work or to operate a farm." View full size. Medium format nitrate negative by Russell Lee for the Farm Security Administration.