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The Farm Security Administration (FSA) was a New Deal agency created in 1937 to combat rural poverty during the Great Depression in the United States. It succeeded the Resettlement Administration (1935–1937).

The FSA is famous for its small but highly influential photography program, 1935–44, that portrayed the challenges of rural poverty. The photographs in the FSA/Office of War Information Photograph Collection form an extensive pictorial record of American life between 1935 and 1944. This U.S. government photography project was headed for most of its existence by Roy Stryker, who guided the effort in a succession of government agencies: the Resettlement Administration (1935–1937), the Farm Security Administration (1937–1942), and the Office of War Information (1942–1944). The collection also includes photographs acquired from other governmental and nongovernmental sources, including the News Bureau at the Offices of Emergency Management (OEM), various branches of the military, and industrial corporations.

In total, the black-and-white portion of the collection consists of about 175,000 black-and-white film negatives, encompassing both negatives that were printed for FSA-OWI use and those that were not printed at the time. Color transparencies also made by the FSA/OWI are available in a separate section of the catalog: FSA/OWI Color Photographs.

The FSA stressed "rural rehabilitation" efforts to improve the lifestyle of very poor landowning farmers, and a program to purchase submarginal land owned by poor farmers and resettle them in group farms on land more suitable for efficient farming.

Reactionary critics, including the Farm Bureau, strongly opposed the FSA as an alleged experiment in collectivizing agriculture—that is, in bringing farmers together to work on large government-owned farms using modern techniques under the supervision of experts. After the Conservative coalition took control of Congress, it transformed the FSA into a program to help poor farmers buy land, and that program continues to operate in the 21st century as the Farmers Home Administration.

Farm Security Administration Media

220,829 media by topicpage 1 of 2209
Syr-dar'inskaia oblast'. G. Chimkend i ego ulichnye tipy. [no caption]

Syr-dar'inskaia oblast'. G. Chimkend i ego ulichnye tipy. [no caption]

Photograph shows a man sitting on a horse in Chimkent. Illus. in: Turkestanskii al'bom, chast' ėtnograficheskaia, 1871-1872, part 2, vol. 1, p. 54. Title from item.

[Portraits of a Chinese policeman with prisoners, a person being carried in a sedan chair, a group of women and a barber]

[Portraits of a Chinese policeman with prisoners, a person being carri...

Title devised by Library staff. Captions on front of item: "Policeman with prisoners" (upper left); "Chinese chair" (upper right); "Group of men" (lower left); and "Barber" (lower right). Captions on back of it... More

Stage on Ouray-Red Mountain toll road. Road used to haul ore from mining section to mills. Snow is from snow slide, winter of 1881. Picture was made in August 1882. Colorado

Stage on Ouray-Red Mountain toll road. Road used to haul ore from mini...

Image source: Moore Photo '82. Title and other information from caption card. Negative has no corresponding print in a lot. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washing... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterworth, 1892

Page from The Growth of industrial art, compiled by Benjamin Butterwor...

Part of a series of photographic copies of lithographs showing earlier methods and modern patents for a variety of agricultural and industrial implements or activities. Title and other information from caption ... More

A United States Army surgeon attending wounded soldiers in a field hospital during the Spanish-American war. The Red Cross emblem appears on the sleeve of one man

A United States Army surgeon attending wounded soldiers in a field hos...

Actual size of negative is C (approximately 4 x 5 inches). Image source: American Red Cross. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture D... More

Nome, Alaska, 1900

Nome, Alaska, 1900

Image source: Lomen Bros., Nome. Title and other information from caption card. Negative has no corresponding print in a lot. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washi... More

Ugly gridirons. Speculative housing in London about 1900. VB Plate three in section devoted to "plates" in Catherine Baver's book called "Modern housing"

Ugly gridirons. Speculative housing in London about 1900. VB Plate thr...

Additional information on caption card: Do not reproduce without permission of Ewing Galloway. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture... More

Montmorency Falls, Quebec, Canada

Montmorency Falls, Quebec, Canada

Actual size of negative is C (approximately 4 x 5 inches). Negative is broken into fragments. Title and other information from file print. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Di... More

Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Several American Red Cross workers and some friends posing for a picture at a tent on the encampment grounds where the militia had been called during the coal mining strike

Shenandoah, Pennsylvania. Several American Red Cross workers and some ...

Original negative missing. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944. More information about the FSA... More

A destroyed bridge over the Montmorency(?) River. Quebec, Canada

A destroyed bridge over the Montmorency(?) River. Quebec, Canada

Actual size of negative is C (approximately 4 x 5 inches). Negative is broken; taped. Title and other information from file print. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. ... More

Untitled

Untitled

Image source: Bay H. Plemous picture, 1823 North Garfield Street, Amarillo, Texas. To identify this image it may help to search online for images that have neighboring call numbers, are similar in appearance, a... More

Chain gang of convicts engaged in road work. Pitt County, North Carolina. Autumn 1910. The inmates were quartered in the wagons shown in the picture. Wagons were equipped with bunks and move from place to place as labor is utilized. The central figure in the picture is J.Z. McLawhon, who was at that time county superintendent of chain gangs. The dogs are bloodhounds used for running down any attempted escapes

Chain gang of convicts engaged in road work. Pitt County, North Caroli...

Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944. More information about the FSA/OWI Collection is availabl... More

Mark Armstrou, Bay Plemous, Cleo Clayton, Pike Strund, Mrs. Strund, Esse Feunlan

Mark Armstrou, Bay Plemous, Cleo Clayton, Pike Strund, Mrs. Strund, Es...

Image source: Bay H. Plemous picture, 1823 North Garfield Street, Amarillo, Texas. Title and other information from caption card. Negative has no corresponding print in a lot. Transfer; United States. Office of... More

Architects' sketch by H. Graterna and G. Versteet, for workers' houses for the General Housing Association (Algemeene Woningbouwvereeniging) at the Watergraafsmeer

Architects' sketch by H. Graterna and G. Versteet, for workers' houses...

Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944. More information about the FSA/OWI Collection is availabl... More

A "stump ranch" in the cut-over region of the Pacific Northwest

A "stump ranch" in the cut-over region of the Pacific Northwest

Additional information on caption card: Do not reproduce without permission of U.S. Forest Service. Original negative missing. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of W... More

Amsterdam, Netherlands. Workers' apartments of the "Eigen Haard" Housing Association of the Zaanstraat and the Spaarndammerplantsoen. Architect: M. De Klerk

Amsterdam, Netherlands. Workers' apartments of the "Eigen Haard" Housi...

Actual size of negative is D (approximately 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches). Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Divisi... More

Amsterdam, Netherlands. Workers' houses owned by the city, on the Pekplein. Architect: J.E. Vander Pek

Amsterdam, Netherlands. Workers' houses owned by the city, on the Pekp...

Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944. More information about the FSA/OWI Collection is availabl... More

Amsterdam, Netherlands. Workers' homes owned by the city. By J.E. Van der Pek. On the Bremstraat

Amsterdam, Netherlands. Workers' homes owned by the city. By J.E. Van ...

Actual size of negative is D (approximately 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches). Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Divisi... More

Amsterdam, Netherlands. Workers' houses of the General Housing Association (Algemeene Woningbouwvereeniging) on the Leeuwerikstraat

Amsterdam, Netherlands. Workers' houses of the General Housing Associa...

Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944. More information about the FSA/OWI Collection is availabl... More

Boston, Massachuestts. Slum

Boston, Massachuestts. Slum

Additional information on caption card: Do not reproduce without the permission of Ewing Galloway. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Pic... More

Boys diving from docks

Boys diving from docks

Additional information on caption card: Do not reproduce without permission of Acme News Photos, Inc. Title and other information from caption card. Negative has no corresponding print in a lot. Transfer; Unite... More

Boys hopping freight

Boys hopping freight

Additional information on caption card: Do not reproduce without permission of New York Times. Title and other information from caption card. Negative has no corresponding print in a lot. Transfer; United State... More

Rural scene

Rural scene

Actual size of negative is C (approximately 4 x 5 inches). Additional information on caption card: Do not reproduce without permission of Gendreau. File print misnumbered LC-USF344-001606-ZB; corrected 1998. Ti... More

Marco Millions. American Theatre Guild production, 1927-1928 starring Alfred Lunt

Marco Millions. American Theatre Guild production, 1927-1928 starring ...

Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944. More information about the FSA/OWI Collection is availabl... More

Birger and his gang. From a postcard

Birger and his gang. From a postcard

Image source: Mitchell. Title and other information from caption card. Negative has no corresponding print in a lot. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Div... More

Dynamo. American Theatre Guild production, 1928-1929

Dynamo. American Theatre Guild production, 1928-1929

Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944. More information about the FSA/OWI Collection is availabl... More

League of Nations Malaria Investigation Committee, United Provinces, India. Anti-malaria educational play put on by youngsters dealing with the treatment of the disease, the use of quinine

League of Nations Malaria Investigation Committee, United Provinces, I...

Image source: U.S. Public Health Service, after Dr. L.L. Williams. Title and other information from print in lot. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Divisi... More

League of Nations Malaria Investigation Committee to India. A concrete-lined ditch which was the type of open ditch in which the anopheles minimus mosquito would not breed in this section of India

League of Nations Malaria Investigation Committee to India. A concrete...

Image source: U.S. Public Health Service, after Dr. L.L. Williams. Title and other information from print in lot. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Divisi... More

League of Nations Malaria Investigation Committee, Madras (vicinity), India. Children of the workers from the firewood section just above Madras ready to be spleened. The spleen rate is fourteen percent

League of Nations Malaria Investigation Committee, Madras (vicinity), ...

Annotation on original negative jacket. Image source: U.S. Public Health Service, after Dr. L.L. Williams. Title and other information from print in lot. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Over... More

Central Romana, Dominican Republic. Harvesting sugarcane

Central Romana, Dominican Republic. Harvesting sugarcane

Negative misnumbered LC-USF343-091326-B. Original negative missing. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Divis... More

League of Nations Malaria Investigation Committee to India. A British doctor in India indicating the size of a young child's spleen enlarged by malaria

League of Nations Malaria Investigation Committee to India. A British ...

Image source: U.S. Public Health Service, after Dr. L.L. Williams. Title and other information from print in lot. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Divisi... More

Chuvash autonomous republic, USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Thoroughbred Merino sheep on the "Trier" collective farm

Chuvash autonomous republic, USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics...

Image source: National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, New York. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington D... More

Dagestan, North Caucasus, USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Women members of the central executive committee

Dagestan, North Caucasus, USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). ...

Image source: National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, New York. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington D... More

Nursery school children having music and rhythms in the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)

Nursery school children having music and rhythms in the USSR (Union of...

Image source: National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, New York. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington D... More

Marusya Sukhova with carrots grown on a collective farm in the Gorki region in the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics)

Marusya Sukhova with carrots grown on a collective farm in the Gorki r...

Image source: National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, New York. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington D... More

Interior showing family of nine

Interior showing family of nine

Actual size of negative is C (approximately 4 x 5 inches). Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington Division; 1944... More

Boy in bed

Boy in bed

Title and other information from file print. Negative has no corresponding print in a lot. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. More information about the FSA/OWI Colle... More

A slum alley

A slum alley

Actual size of negative is D (approximately 3 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches). File print misnumbered LC-USF343-000592-ZE; corrected 1998. Title and other information from file print. Negative is a pellicle. Negative has n... More

Passengers boarding monoplane

Passengers boarding monoplane

Additional information on caption card: Do not reproduce without permission of Ewing Galloway. Title and other information from caption card. Negative has no corresponding print in a lot. Transfer; United State... More

Chapayevsk collective Ukraine, USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). Collective farmer woman who is manager of the dairy farm checking the quality of the milk

Chapayevsk collective Ukraine, USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republi...

Image source: National Council of American-Soviet Friendship, New York. Title and other information from caption card. Transfer; United States. Office of War Information. Overseas Picture Division. Washington D... More

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