NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1024589
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 5
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
Searching for the Seventies: Photographs from the Environmental Protection Agency's DOCUMERICA Project
Bustard, Bruce; Potter, Lee Ann
Social Education, v77 n2 p52-56 Mar-Apr 2013
In 1971, the newly established Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) created DOCUMERICA, a federal government photography project born out of the nation's environmental crisis. The photographers hired by the EPA took thousands of photographs depicting pollution, waste, and blight, but they were given the freedom to capture the era's trends, fashions, non-environmental problems, and achievements as well. The result is an amazing archive and a fascinating portrait of America from 1972 to 1977. DOCUMERICA succeeded in several ways, despite its shortcomings. Its photographers took more than 20,000 photographs that geographically covered the entire United States and depicted in depth many of the issues facing Americans in the 1970s. The project's regional approach and its use of local photographers gave it a strong community focus--one that reflected the growing diversity of the American people. As the last large-scale federal documentary photography project of the twentieth century, its images deserve attention, greater visibility, and further study. Teaching suggestions are included.
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A