Articles and Essays

  • FSA OWI Written Records The FSA-OWI photographic unit's written records that are held by the Library of Congress (LOT 12024) provide insight on the operations of the unit. They are made up of office files, captions for the photographs, supplementary reference files, and scrapbooks. A brief description of some related materials is also included here.
  • Documenting America Cotton Pickers. Photographer: Ben Shahn Pulaski County, Arkansas, October 1935 Resettlement Administration, Lot 1657
  • FSA and OWI Popular Requests No statistics are available regarding which images in the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection have been most frequently requested or reproduced. However, members of the Prints and Photographs Division reference staff have selected fifteen that have been regularly requested over the years.
  • FSA and OWI Popular Staff Selections No one can work long with Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information photographs without developing some personal favorites. One of the pleasures of using the collection lies in sharing "finds" with others. The development of this site offered the members of the Prints and Photographs Division reference staff a much-appreciated opportunity to share some of their favorites with the public. Some of the selections...
  • FSA and OWI Photographs: A Portrait Sampler This sampler of portraits from the Prints and Photographs Division depicts photographers who worked for the Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information. It includes well-known figures such as Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, and Ben Shahn, as well as other, less well-known FSA/OWI photographers. A comprehensive nonvisual list, "Roy E. Stryker and the Photographers of the FSA/OWI: A List of Portraits," is also available through...
  • FSA OWI Photographic Prints Photographic prints were made, usually by FSA-OWI photo laboratory staff, from those negatives that Roy Stryker and the photographers selected as suitable for printing. The prints were mounted on cardboard mounts and captions were applied to the mounts. The captions include the location and date of the photograph, the photographer's name, descriptive information, and, a negative number. During the FSA-OWI years, the mounted photographs...
  • Classification Scheme Used in the Reading Room After the FSA-OWI photographic prints were microfilmed in LOTs, they were re-sorted and grouped according to geographic region. Paul Vanderbilt devised the arrangement for the photographic prints that would eventually result in the Prints and Photographs Division's FSA-OWI Reading Room File. He established the following geographical divisions: B--Alaska and Canada; D-- Northeastern states; E--Southern states; F--Midwestern states; G--Northwestern states; H-- Southwestern states; J--Farwestern states;...
  • What Do the Nitrate Film Negatives Look Like The original nitrate negatives are usually one of these sizes--a 35mm or 2 1/4 inch roll film or a 3x4 or 4x5 inch sheet film. Some 5x7 and 8x10 inch sheet films were also used.