The Daily Worker Negatives Digitization Project, 1930-1950

Project Director: Hanan Ohayon

Source: The Daily Worker and Daily World Negatives Collection, Tamiment Library

This is a proposal to digitize a portion of the Daily Worker and Daily World Negatives Collection at the Tamiment Library to make visible a large and varied number of striking, high quality, high resolution images of extraordinary historic and artistic value that document a seminal period in the history of the Communist Party in America, in the history of labor and the American Left, and in the social and political history of New York City. The images document a period of time between the Great Depression and the beginning of the Cold War when the Communist Party was fundamentally involved in the struggle for workers and civil rights, and depict a wide array of strikes, protests, parades, political campaigns and progressive events, as well as portraits of historic individuals. A large number of the photos were taken in New York City, and can potentially teach us much about life in the city during this time.

The negatives also appear to be an outstanding example of the social documentary vein of photography, ascendant during this period in the work of the photographers of the New Deal’s Farm Security Administration, and the Communist Party-affiliated New York City-based Photo League, and are therefore potentially invaluable to the study of the history of photography and visual culture.

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