Library of Congress debuts iconic Great Depression photos

Destitute pea pickers in California. Mother of seven children. Age thirty-two. Nipomo, California (LOC)

The Library of Congress has created a remarkable set, FSA/OWI Favorites, which includes the “Migrant Mother,” by Dorothea Lange, the original film negative of which is housed at the Library of Congress. The Library preserves Lange’s original, and makes the digitized photo freely available. “Migrant Mother” is part of a landmark photo documentary project based in the U.S. Resettlement Administration, the Farm Security Administration (FSA), and later the Office of War Information (OWI). The most active years were 1935-1943, and the collection was transferred to the Library of Congress in 1944.

The Library of Congress’ newest set features 10 of the most frequently requested photos plus staff picks to introduce you to the vast archive of about 170,000 negatives and 107,000 prints of life in America during the Great Depression and World War II. Do not miss a visit to the FSA/OWI Collection in the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC) at LOC to explore more of these amazing photos by gifted photographers who worked with 35mm and large format sheet film. Please go to the Library of Congress’ blog post for much more information and insight.

If you have never seen these, don’t pass up a moment to experience them.