Farm Security Administration (FSA) selected records and photographs, 1935-1942

United States. Farm Security Administration. Historical Section

Collection size: Textual records: 2 partial microfilm reels.
Photographs: 218 items.

Collection Summary: Scattered textual records selected from the Farm Security Administration, Historical Section records at the Library of Congress and the Farmers Home Administration records at the National Archives primarily revolving around activities of Roy Stryker. Included are personnel and travel records, typescripts of photograph captions, correspondence, memoranda, files on public relations and exhibits, and printed material.

218 copy prints of photographs of America taken for the FSA, including landscapes, people, homes and other architecture, rural scenes, urban scenes, workers, products of farm and industry, transportation, entertainment, and the Quarter Circle U Ranch, Birney, Montana. Photographers include: Arthur Rothstein, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, John Collier, Marion Post Wolcott, Jack Delano, Russell Lee, John Vachon, Ben Shahn, Carl Mydans, and Edwin Rosskam.

Biographical/Historical Note: Established 1935 in the Resettlement Administration Historical Section's photographic project to document poverty stricken rural America under the direction of Roy E. Stryker. In 1937, Roosevelt established the FSA, and the Resettlement Administration and its programs fell under its auspices. The Historical Section of the Resettlement Administration remained intact under the FSA, and continued its photographic survey and historical documentation under Stryker's direction.
After 1942, the photographs project was transplanted to the Office War Information, and the emphasis of the project shifted from rural and urban conditions throughout Depression-era U.S. to the domestic impact of the war. In 1946, Congress created the Farmers Home Administration (FHA) which absorbed the FSA and its programs.

Microfilm and copy prints donated by the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, 1965.
Reel FSA/WDC2: Record Group 96, textual records of the Farmers Home Administration include the records of the FSA, predecessor to the FHA.

How to Use this Collection

  • Microfilm reels FSA/WDC1-FSA/WDC2 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.
  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Related Materials

Additional FSA-OWI records located at: Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division (microfilm available at LC)
Additional Stryker papers located at: Photographic Archives University of Louisville, Louisville, Ky. 40208