Required Programs in Libraries

“Soul of a People: Voices from the Writers’ Project” Online Site Support Notebook

Please send an invitiation for major program events to:


National Endowment for the Humanities

1100 Pennyslvania Ave NW

Washington DC 20506

Each library selected for the “Soul of a People” project is required to present the following five programs:

  1. A community-wide Soul of a People celebration focusing on the Federal Writer’s Project, its authors and its output. Libraries are encouraged to create a 1930s atmosphere with music, displays of books and photographs, food, antiques, related programs for children, and other activities.

  2. A program focusing on a Federal Writers’ Project work about the library’s region. This can be a state, city or county guide, a highway guide, or another Writers’ Project guide about the area.

  3. A scholar-led discussion program in which participants examine at least four oral histories from the Federal Writers’ Project “Slave Narratives” and “American Life Histories” at the Library of Congress web sites or

  4. A program about a prominent author who contributed to the Federal Writers’ Project and later became an important figure in American literary history. Discussion guides are available from ALA for
    Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston;
    Native Son, Richard Wright;
    The Adventures of Augie March, Saul Bellow;
    The Surrounded, D’Arcy McNickle; and
    The Living Is Easy, Dorothy West. Library may select other authors (see list of authors in this notebook).

  5. Screening of excerpts from the documentary
    Soul of a People, followed by discussion led by the project scholar about the Federal Writers’ Project, its impact and its legacy.