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'Bound for Glory'

The black-and-white photos of the Depression-era Farm Security Administration need no introduction. Images such as "Migrant Mother" are indelibly etched in the American psyche as a potent symbol of poverty and sadness.

Russell Lee, photographer. 'Faro and Doris Caudill, homesteaders, Pie Town, New Mexico,' Oct. 1940. Jack Delano, photographer. 'At the Vermont State Fair, Rutland,' Sept. 1941

The color FSA photos are another matter, but a new book hopes to make these equally important photographs better known.

"Bound for Glory: America in Color 1939-43" has been published by the Library of Congress in association with Harry N. Abrams Inc. This volume showcases pioneering color work by photographers Jack Delano, John Collier, Marion Post Wolcott, Russell Lee, John Vachon, Arthur Rothstein and others, which was carried out under the auspices of the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and the Office of War Information (OWI).

Shot on the Eastman Kodak Co.'s new film, Kodachrome, which was first introduced in 1935, the photographs offer a rare color portrait of America in the prewar era.

The FSA/OWI collection, comprising more than 170,000 black-and-white photographs and 1,600 color prints, is the result of a government photography project undertaken by a succession of federal agencies. The FSA originally initiated the project to document the devastating effects of the Depression on America's rural population to garner support for government relief efforts. As the country began to mobilize for World War II, however, the photographic unit of the FSA was transferred to the newly created OWI, and war preparations became its focus. The result is a portrait of Americans at work in farms and factories during the first half of the 20th century -- from Vermont to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and almost every state in between.

The complete collection of some 170,000 FSA/OWI photographs is available on the Library of Congress American Memory Web site in "America from the Great Depression to World Was II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945." The collection is also featured in a Library exhibition, "Bound for Glory: America in Color, 1939-1943."

"Bound for Glory," a 192-page hardcover book with 175 color photographs, includes a Library of Congress reference number for each of the photographs, which enables readers to search for the specific image online or order photographic prints from the Library's Photoduplication Service. The book is available for $35 in bookstores nationwide and in the Library's Sales Shop. For credit card orders, call (888) 682-3557.


A. Russell Lee, photographer. "Faro and Doris Caudill, homesteaders, Pie Town, New Mexico," Oct. 1940. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-fsac-1a34096 DLC (color copy scan) LC-USF351-317 DLC (color film copy slide); Call No.: LC-USF35-317 <P&P>

B. Jack Delano, photographer. "At the Vermont State Fair, Rutland," Sept. 1941. Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction information: Reproduction No.: LC-DIG-fsac-1a33921 DLC (color copy scan) LC-USF351-51 DLC (color film copy slide); Call No.: LC-USF35-51 <P&P>


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