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January 26, 2012

Pictures From The Past

I love seeing photographs from the past that show change. I like seeing the old clothes, the old cars, how people used to do things before newer technology came around. It’s interesting to note how we have changed, whether for better or for worse.

Recently, Jerry Simmons, an archives specialist at the National Archives and Records Administration, rediscovered more than 80,000 images taken by nearly 100 freelance photographers between 1972 and 1977 as part of a project called Documerica.

“In January 1972, the Environmental Protection Agency asked nearly 100 freelance photographers to roam the country in the pursuit of a single goal: documenting “the environmental happenings and non-happenings” of the decade.

More than 15,000 images have been digitized and posted at the National Archives Web site, and a selection is also available on Flickr.”

They are amazing to look and marvel at, either because of the amount of pollution that use to be in the bigger cities, or the amount of beauty in the Great Plains and mountain areas.

It would be great if photographers went and captured the same exact pictures in order to really compare how we have changed the environment after 40 years. I know a lot of the big cities have cleaned up, but what about all those wildflower and forest pictures? Do they still exist or have they been developed into suburbs and farmland?

To read more about this topic go to the New York Times Green Blog or click the links above to go right to the pictures.



AnnetheStutterer said...

It's not very pretty, but MSU has posted the list of locations as well as photography guidelines for the original Documerica project. http://ej.msu.edu/documerica/History/history.htm
I think that's a great idea, to find the places documented and see how they've changed (or haven't) 40 years on. Looking at those old photos makes me think about how strange the present is, if only we would notice. A good eye behind the lens can turn heads. I think you should totally go for your own Docutah project!

Andree said...

Thanks for the comment and the link Anne! I think a DocUtah would be a fantastic grant proposal!
Andree' (the USEE ED)