Program about State or Regional Federal Writers’ Project Work
“Soul of a People: Voices from the Writers’ Project” Online Site Support Notebook
Some points for discussion:
- Does this work accurately portray our state/region/community now?
- Did this work accurately portray the state/region/community then?
- What was the reaction to this work when it was published?
- How would we re-write parts of this guide or provide new illustrations to reflect how things have changed?
- Did this guide have a particular social, political or cultural orientation or bias—negative or positive?
- What is the value of this guide to the people who live here now?
- If this is a regional guide, does the region cover the same territory now?
- What would you put on the cover of this work if it were being published today?
- Bontemps, Arna. Drums at Dusk. Macmillan, 1939.
- Federal Writers’ Project of Virginia. The Negro in Virginia. Hastings House, 1940.
- Georgia Writers’ Project. Drums and Shadows: Survival Studies among the Georgia Coastal Negroes. University of Georgia, 1940.
- Illinois Writers’ Project. Cavalcade of the American Negro. Chicago: Diamond Jubilee Exposition Authority, 1940.
- Louisiana Writers’ Project. Gumbo Ya-Ya. Houghton Mifflin, 1945.
- McKay, Claude. Harlem: Negro Metropolis. Dutton, 1940.
- Writers’ Programs of North Carolina, Tennessee and Georgia. These Are Our Lives. University of North Carolina Press, 1939.
Selected regional books and articles
- Blakey, George. Creating a Hoosier Self-Portrait: The Federal Writers’ Project in Indiana, 1935–1942. Indiana University Press, 2005.
- Bold, Christine. Writers, Plumbers, and Anarchists: The WPA Writers’ Project in Massachusetts. University of Massachusetts Press, 2006
- Cohen, David Steven. America, the Dream of My Life: Selections from the Federal Writers’ Project’s New Jersey Ethnic Survey. Rutgers University Press, 1990.
- Findlay, James A. and Margaret Bing. “Touring Florida Through the Federal Writers’ Project. Broward County Public Library web site: www.broward.org/library/bienes/lii10213.htm
- Hill, Gerald, ed.
Oneida Lives: Long Lost Voices of the Wisconsin Oneidas. Bison Books, 2005.
Hurston, Zora Neale. Go Gator and Muddy the Water: Writings by Zora Neale Hurston from the Federal Writers’ Project, edited by Pamela Bordelon. Norton, 1999.
- Kennedy, Stetson. “Florida Folklife and the WPA: An Introduction.” Florida Memory Project, Florida State Archives. www.floridamemory.com/OnlineClassroom/Zora_Hurston/guide.cfm
- Louisiana Writers’ Project. Gumbo Ya-Ya: A Collection of Louisiana Folk Tales. Pelican Publishing, 1987.
- Nebraska Writers’ Project. Mister, You’ve Got Yourself a Horse: Tales of Old Time Horse Trading. University of Nebraska Press, 1987.
- www.nytimes.com/2008/07/15/us/15wpa.html “Places Captured in Time, But Not Frozen There.” Article about the Federal Writers’ Project Washington state guide and what the state is like seven decades later.
- Montana Writers’ Project. An Ornery Bunch: Tales and Anecdotes Collected by the WPA Montana Writers Project. Falcon, 1999.
- Women’s Tales from the New Mexico WPA: La Diabla a Pie, edited by Tey Diana Rebolledo and Maria Teresa Marquez. Arte Publico Press, 2000.
An informative summary of the American Guides Series from the U.S. Senate website.
Article about the Federal Writers’ Project Washington state guide and what the state is like seven decades later.
The Internet Archive lists some of the more obscure works of the Federal Writers’ Project in addition to the more familiar state guides.
An exhibition checklist from the Bienes Library lists many of the lesser known works of the Federal Writers’ Project.
Some Online Information about State and Regional Federal Writers’ Project Archives
- Florida: http://sfdm.ucf.edu/heritagealliance/archives/wpa.html and www.floridamemory.com/onlineclassroom/zora_hurston/guide.cfm
- Montana: www.lib.montana.edu/collect/spcoll/findaid/2336.html
- Nebraska: www.lincolnlibraries.org/depts/hr/wpa/ne_fwp_1.html
- New York: www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/collections/collections_wpa.shtml
- North Carolina: www.ah.dcr.state.nc.us/archives/exhibits/wpa/writer.htm
- Tennessee: www.tennessee.gov/tsla/history/manuscripts/findingaids/1776.pdf
- Virginia: www.lva.lib.va.us/whoweare/exhibits/newdeal/index.htm