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:
August 1936. "Example of self-resettlement in California. Oklahoma farm family on highway between Blythe and Indio. Forced by the drought of 1936 to abandon their farm, they set out with their children to drive to California. Picking cotton in Arizona for a day or two at a time gave them enough for food and gas to continue. On this day they were within a day's travel of their destination, Bakersfield. Their car had broken down en route and was abandoned." Medium-format negative by Dorothea Lange for the Resettlement Administration. View full size.
February 1939. "On U.S. 99 near Brawley, Imperial County, California. Homeless mother and youngest child of seven walking the highway from Phoenix, Arizona, where they picked cotton. Bound for San Diego, where the father hopes to get on relief 'because he once lived there.'" Medium-format nitrate negative by Dorothea Lange for the Farm Security Administration. View full size.