A trove of Depression-era photographs, including a series on New Jersey farmers taken by the legendary photographer Dorothea Lange, are now available for public view thanks to Yale University and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The photos were taken by photographers hired by the federal Farm Security Administration between 1935 and 1944 to document the reality of farmers and other workers hit hard by the economic disaster.
Lange visited Hightstown, NJ, where Jewish socialists created a farming cooperative known as Jersey Homesteads, which included a farm, factory, and retail stores. The FSA hoped to promote such “homestead” communities and buy out failing farms.
The 170,000 photographs, maintained and catalogued by the Library of Congress, are for the most part considered to be in the public domain.