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Call No.: VIS 2
Repository: Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Farm Security Administration Photograph Collection
Quantity: 2.5 linear feet (5 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The collection contains black and white images taken by Farm Security Administration photographers depicting rural poverty in America, 1935-1936.
The Library of Congress holds the original negatives for all photographs in Baker Library's collection. See The Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Department for more information.
The Farm Security Administration (FSA), originally the Resettlement Administration, was created through the New Deal relief programs to alleviate rural poverty in America. The FSA's objective was to assist poor farmers and sharecroppers through economic and educational programs who had fallen on hard times during the Dust Bowl and the Depression. The FSA purchased underperforming farms and resettled the farmers and sharecroppers living on the Great Plains to California and other fertile farming locations. The photography program, headed by Roy Emerson Stryker, made an effort to document the poor social and economic conditions of the displaced farmers and sharecroppers. The photographers were assigned specific subjects and geographic regions of the country to photograph. The images were sent to the FSA's headquarters in Washington D.C. for selection and printing.
The collection is arranged in the following series:
- Series I. Theodor Jung
- Series II. Dorothea Lange
- Series III. Carl Mydans
- Series IV. Arthur Rothstein
- Series V. Ben Shahn
The Farm Security Administration Photograph Collection consists of 39 black and white gelatin silver print process images taken by Ben Shahn, Arthur Rothstein, Dorothea Lange, Carl Mydans, and Theodor Jung, 1935-1936. The photographs depict poverty stricken sharecroppers, farmers, and their families in West Virginia, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Virginia. All photographs in this collection have been scanned and are available in VIA and are available through the Harvard University Library Image Delivery Service.