In the first 100 days of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's first term in office, the so-called New Deal agencies were launched to counter the great depression of the 1930s. Of the approximately 100 administrations, commissions and projects that were initiated, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) [also called Work Projects Administration (1939-1943)] was the largest. One of many projects undertaken by the WPA was the Federal Writers' Project.
The American Guide Series was a subset of works produced by the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) and and is one of the most well-known FWP projects. The American Guide Series Books, created through a cooperative effort of both Federal and State organizations, are part travel guide, part almanac. Each includes illustrations and photographs and offers a fascinating snapshot of the 48 United States in the Union, and Alaska, in the late 1930s and early 1940s. Additionally there are guides covering some of the major cities and some smaller ones, and a selection that focuses on inter-state adventures.
Please take a moment to review the contents of this library guide. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Click the guide info tab, above, for contact details.
LC Call Number: F316. F3. Currently not available in Library nor online.
Materials in the American Guide Series are cataloged under the call numbers F1 to F975.
The American Guide Series
A description of each of the guides from the US Senate Website (PDF)
Text (not online)
Bold, Christine. The W.P.A. Guides: Mapping America. 1999. Univesity Press Of Mississippi, Jackson. ISBN: 1578061954
Library Call No.: E175.4 B65 1999
Mangione, Jerre. The Dream and the Deal. 1972. Little Brown and Company, Boston. ISBN: 0316545007
Library Call No.: E175.4 W9 M3
Penkower, Monty Noam. The Federal Writers' Project: A Study in Government Patronage of the Arts. 1977. University of Illinois Press, Urana.
This Library Research Guide was developed and is maintained by Bruce Whitham. It is posted on the Rowan University Libraries' Research Guides site to introduce a fascinating series of guides (the "American Guide Series"), produced by workers in the Federal Writers' Project, one of many projects of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) [also called Work Projects Administration (1939-1943)]. This Research Guide contains details regarding each guide in the American Guide Series--there is one guide for each of the 48 States of the Union and Alaska, guides for several cities, and a few inter-state special guides-- produced in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
Rowan University Libraries' Research Guides are hosted on the Springshare LibGuides Portal, to which Rowan University Libraries subscribes. Please send comments, suggestions, and corrections to Bruce Whitham via email.
Rowan University makes no claim to freely available websites nor does it accept responsibility for the information or opinions expressed by those who have created or authored the content or by those who are quoted on the sites.
Posters of California and Illinois Writers' Project promoting the State Guides, and the poster promoting the series, come from the Library of Congress WPA Posters Website.