Collection American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940

Articles and Essays

  • Introduction

    Mrs. Hannegan (right) runs a boarding house for girls working in war plants. Marjory Collins. Photograph, 1943. (LC-USW3-27727-D). During the Great Depression of the 1930s, when as many as one out of four Americans could not find jobs, the federal government stepped in to become the employer of last resort. The Works Progress Administration (WPA), an ambitious New Deal program, put 8,500,000 jobless to ...

  • Industrial Lore

    The Federal Writers' Project of the 1930s recorded more than 10,000 life stories of men and woman from a variety of occupations and ethnic groups. The following is a sampling of these interviews, which include audio excerpts read by modern actors.

  • Rank and File

    The Federal Writers' Project of the 1930s recorded more than 10,000 life stories of men and woman from a variety of occupations and ethnic groups. The following is a sampling of these interviews, which include audio excerpts read by modern actors.

  • Hard Times in the City

    The Federal Writers' Project of the 1930s recorded more than 10,000 life stories of men and woman from a variety of occupations and ethnic groups. The following is a sampling of these interviews, which include audio excerpts read by modern actors.

  • Women and Work

    The Federal Writers' Project of the 1930s recorded more than 10,000 life stories of men and woman from a variety of occupations and ethnic groups. The following is a sampling of these interviews, which include audio excerpts read by modern actors.