Images of America at Yale Archive
Go over and check out this amazing archive of Depression-era photographs at photogrammar.yale.edu. Not only are the pictures interesting for their historical value and sheer number (170,000), but the interactive layout is pretty much perfect. It's incredibly easy to sift, search and skip though. I particular like this treemap tool.
The images were taken by photographers hired by the United State’s Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information from 1935 to 1945. From the site:
"In order to build support for and justify government programs, the Historical Section set out to document America, often at her most vulnerable, and the successful administration of relief service. The Farm Security Administration—Office of War Information (FSA-OWI) produced some of the most iconic images of the Great Depression and World War II and included photographers such as Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Arthur Rothstein who shaped the visual culture of the era both in its moment and in American memory. Unit photographers were sent across the country. The negatives were sent to Washington, DC. The growing collection came to be known as “The File.” With the United State’s entry into WWII, the unit moved into the Office of War Information and the collection became known as the FSA-OWI File."
Thanks to this government program and the good people at Yale, we have an immensely important archive of Americana.
I’m drawn to the images of work, one of the larger sections of the photo subjects for obvious reasons, especially those on fishing boats in Massachusetts my home state.
Of course searching by photographer also yields great results and when it comes to Depression-era portraits, there’s no one better than Dorothea Lange.
The archive is nearly endless with photos from literally all over the country. I strongly encourage you to take sometime and click through these amazing photos.