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Yale University Project Compiles Old Photos of Oswego County

United Nations heroes with their hostesses by Lake Ontario, at a swimming party held for visitors' entertainment during United Nations Week in Oswego, June 1943 by Marjory Collins.

United Nations heroes with their hostesses by Lake Ontario, at a swimming party held for visitors' entertainment during United Nations Week in Oswego, June 1943 by Marjory Collins.

OSWEGO – A new project from a team at Yale University has geographically organized a series of government photos from the 1930s and 1940s and are available for viewing online.

United Nations heroes with their hostesses by Lake Ontario, at a swimming party held for visitors' entertainment during United Nations Week in Oswego, June 1943 by Marjory Collins.
United Nations heroes with their hostesses by Lake Ontario, at a swimming party held for visitors’ entertainment during United Nations Week in Oswego, June 1943 by Marjory Collins.

The photos were taken nationwide by the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information, a New Deal project that compiled some of the most recognizable images of the Great Depression and World War II.

There are 307 photos taken in Oswego County, one of the highest amounts in the state.

The photos, first digitized by the Library of Congress in the 1990s, have been organized by things such as date, colors and subject matter, with the website’s template making it much more accessible for searching.

The photographers include Arthur Rothstein, Jack Delano, John Collier and Marjory Collins.

A park scene with a Civil War monument, taken by Marjory Collins in June, 1943 in the city of Oswego.
A park scene with a Civil War monument, taken by Marjory Collins in June, 1943 in the city of Oswego.

“It is exciting to see Oswego County’s history included in this project,” said Justin White, Oswego County Historian. “Many wonderful photographs highlight both rural and city life during the Great Depression era. A set of the pictures feature the 1943 United Nations Week held in the city of Oswego. This amazing event brought together hundreds of servicemen from many countries to Oswego to promote unity among American allies. This important collection gives a unique glimpse into a significant period of time in Oswego County.”

The Yale University project can be found at http://photogrammar.yale.edu/map/

5 Comments

  1. The link is at the end of the story. When the map opens, click on Oswego County and then click on the “view photos” link

  2. As a local history buff, I am so pleased to see these photos getting national attention. Thank you, Justin White, for making certain that OUR photos were included.

    Oswego, NY has a LOT to be proud of! We were the FIRST Oswego of six in the nation. We were one of the regions instrumental in forming our nation in the pre-Revolutionary War era. Personally, one of my distant relatives, my thirteenth great grandfather was stationed at Fort Oswego which was near or on modern West Sixth Street (and I’m not even an Oswego native!), leaders in public education!,resident and child of a former slave who invented the golf tee, and finally, we have the legacy of providing a Safe Haven for European refugees from the Holocaust, one of whom was instrumental in invented the Cat-Scan/MRI.

    Our history matters to not only CNY, but to the world. So nice to get some acknowledgement outside our area!!!

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