During the mid-1930s, in the thick of the Great Depression, the New Deal administration sent photographers like Dorothea Lange, Walker Evans, and Arthur Rothstein to document all walks of American life across the country. Under the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information, those photographers captured some of the most iconic images of the Great Depression and World War II, shaping much of the era’s visual culture in the process.
170,000 of those crucial photos, which were kept and catalogued by the Library Congress, can now be seen in a massive, searchable, online archive called Photogrammar. Maintained by Yale University, the database allows users to view the photos captured between 1935 and 1945 through an impressive interactive map. By selecting highlighted cities around the United States, users can easily spend hours losing themselves in images of the past. Clicking across the nation, we catch fascinating glimpses of the daily struggles and joys of rural laborers, urban workers, and families from coast to coast.
Here is just a small selection of the images available in the archive. To see many more, check out Photogrammar.