Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project

Dates: Friday, March 8, 2013 - Sunday, September 8, 2013

Location: Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, Washington, DC

Bad fashion, odd fads, and disco dance music sum up the 1970s for many Americans. But the ’70s were much more than leisure suits, streaking, and disco. Profound changes in our politics, society, and economy took root.

“Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project” draws on the National Archives’ photographic holdings to take a new look at those years through the lens of a Federal photography project created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). DOCUMERICA photographers took thousands of color photographs and were given the freedom to also capture the era’s trends, fashions, problems, and achievements. The result is an amazing archive and a fascinating portrait of America from 1972 through 1977.

Explore DOCUMERICA images from the holdings of the National Archives on Flickr.

Buy the exhibit catalog, written by curator Bruce I. Bustard, with a message from Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero and a foreword by William D. Ruckelshaus, first and fifth administrator of the EPA. Available in hardcover and softcover.

“Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project” was made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with support from the Lawrence F. O’Brien family.