Created by a group of U.S. government photographers, these images show Americans in every part of the nation. Early years emphasize rural life and the negative impact of the Great Depression, farm mechanization, and the Dust Bowl. Later years focus on the mobilization effort for World War II.
Nearly 1400 photographs (and a few illustrations). They offer representations of urban poverty, unsafe tenement housing, inadequate hygiene in public areas, and other pressing social issues in late-19th- and early-20th-century New York. The images range from the 1880s through the 1950s.
"The Photography Collection was created in 1980, when images culled from other NYPL departments and branches were brought together to form a new division that now comprises approximately 500,000 photographs by 6,000 photographers. The Photography Collection encompasses the broadest range of the medium, including images made for commercial, industrial, and scientific application as well as images for the press and other print media, the vernacular of amateur snapshot photography and original works intended for exhibition and/or the art market."
"From the stock market crash of 1929 to the beginnings of World War II, The Great Depression tells the dramatic and diverse stories of struggle and survival during the worst economic crisis in U.S. history."