History, Depression, and the Federal Writer’s Project

Posted by on March 17, 2008

The best parts about history is learning the individual stories. To make the past come alive is what makes history exciting to me and hopefully you. With that in mind, today let’s take a trip to the LOC to learn about the:

The Depression and the Federal Writer’s Project

The Depression was devestating to many Americans. There was no work, industry was idle and with no relief in sigh, it was proving to be a long few years for most.



As part of the WPA, the Federal Writer’s Project was one of the New Deal Programs funded to offset the effects of the Great Crash and Depression of the 1930’s. Employing, says Wikipedia,

“…writers, editors, historians, researchers, art critics, archaeologists, geologists and cartographers…”

LOC has opened up the archives from the Federal Writer’s Project online and includes over 2,000 documents as well as the efforts of over 6,000 people. We can read personal stories of triumph and tragedy as well as everyday life in America up to that point. This project also included the famous city guides such as:

  • Alabama: A Guide to the Deep South, 1941.
  • Arizona: A State Guide, 1940.
  • Arkansas: A Guide to the State, Arizona, 1941.


Take a look to examine some of the links below, including the photographs. It really strikes home the hardships endured by many during these trying times.

Have a great day, see you tomorrow!


Library of Congress

Wikipedia-Federal Writer’s Project


(1) American Memory Project

(2)Wikipedia-Federal Writer’s Project

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