The Great Depression affected families from all part of the United States (and in other countries as well). It might be fairly easy to find historical information about the Great Depression online and in textbooks. Photos aren’t as easy to locate. Fortunately, there are some Great Depression photo resources that genealogists can view.
The Great Depression began after years of income inequality. There was a huge imbalance between the rich and the poor, with 0.1 percent of society earning the same total income as 42 percent of society. On Black Tuesday, October 29, 1929, the United States stock market crashed. This triggered the Great Depression – the worst economic collapse in the history of the modern industrial world.
Yale University has unveiled 170,000 photos documenting the Great Depression and World War I. Genealogists can view them on an archive called Photogrammar. That website is maintained by Yale University and allows people to use an interactive map to select a location. It will bring up photos that are specific to that location.
The History Place
The History Place has a section that is dedicated to the photos of Dorothea Lange. She is the photographer who took the famous photo of a woman with her two children that is so often used as the image that describes the Great Depression. Genealogists can view many of her photos of Migrant Farm Families for free. Short descriptions are included.
State Library of New South Wales
When we think of the Great Depression, many of us think of how it affected people in the United States. It is important to know that the Great Depression had an effect on other countries as well. The Library of New South Wales has a collection of photos from the Great Depression on Flickr. Genealogists who have ancestors or relatives that lived in New South Wales, Australia, may find this collection to be very interesting.
U.S. National Archives
The United States National Archives has a collection of photos of the Great Depression that were taken by photographer Lewis Wickes Hine. He was born on September 26, 1847, and died on November 3, 1940. His photos of the Great Depression were taken in many different states. The United States National Archives has an extension collection of them on Flickr.
You can find a small selection of 11 photos from the Great Depression and the New Deal at Archives.Gov. Each one lists the photographer (if known) and a description of the photo. You can order print reproductions of any of these photos.
Image by Tony Fischer on Flickr.
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