News Article

Foundation for the National Archives, D Giles Limited Publish New Photography Book

March 5, 2013

Exhibition Catalog Accompanies “Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project”


The Foundation for the National Archives and D Giles Limited announce the release of their latest publication, Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project. The book, which accompanies the National Archives Experience exhibition of the same title, revisits the decade of the 1970s through 100 remarkable color photographs taken for the
Environmental Protection Agency’s DOCUMERICA project.

Curator and author Bruce I. Bustard selected the images from the 22,000 DOCUMERICA photographs in the files of the National Archives. In addition to photographs of environmental blight and activism, DOCUMERICA images capture issues such as eco-politics, urban revitalization, suburbanization, and deindustrialization. They depict trends such as the growing appreciation of cultural diversity, the changing roles of women, and post-1960s youth culture.

Drawing inspiration from the depression-era Farm Security Administration photography project, DOCUMERICA photographers created a portrait of America in the early to mid-1970s featuring small Midwestern towns, barrios in the Southwest, and coal mining communities in Appalachia.

The photographers’ assignments were as varied as the nation they sought to portray — from African American life in Chicago, urban renewal in Kansas City, and commuters in Washington, DC, to migrant farm workers in Colorado.

The book, which includes a message from Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and a foreword by the first EPA Administrator William D. Ruckelshaus, who authorized the DOCUMERICA project, is available for purchase in the myArchives Store at the National Archives in Washington, DC, online, and in book stores around the world.

For a complete list of books published by the Foundation for the National Archives, please visit us online.

The “Searching for the Seventies” exhibition, opening in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery at the National Archives on March 8, was made possible in part by support from the Foundation for the National Archives, with special thanks to the Lawrence F. O’Brien family.