The online exhibition features 70 digital prints made from color transparencies taken between 1939 and 1943. This exhibition is unusual as most pictures of that time were available only in black and white.
Approximately one dozen photographers were employed by the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and its successor agency, the Office of War Information (OWI), from 1935 through 1944. The photographs in "Bound for Glory" are the work of several famed photographers, including John Vachon, Jack Delano, Russell Lee, and Marion Post Wolcott.
The original goal of the government project was to record, through documentary photographs, the ravages of the Depression on America's rural population and were intended to spur Congress and the American public to support government relief efforts. With an improved economy, increased industrialization and the onset of World War II, the photographs increasingly focused on an America that was productive, beautiful and determined. The photographs, originally intended to have a narrow focus, provide a broader national record.
The 70 images in the exhibition were chosen from 175 photographs found in "Bound for Glory," a 192-page hardcover book published in 2004 by the Library in association with Harry N. Abrams Inc. The 70 images of that exhibition are available at http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/boundforglory
The complete collection of FSA/OWI photographs consists of 171,000 black-and-white images and 1,602 color images. This collection includes rural and urban areas alike, many of them showing individuals at work as well as relaxing at home. The collection also has many pictures of railroads, airplanes, main streets of small towns and much more. All 172,000+ photos are available at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/fsowhome.html.