Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Works Progress Administration (WPA) in 1935 as part of his New Deal, an effort to rebuild the economy of the U.S. Between 1935 and 1943, the WPA employed over 8.5 million Americans.
"WPA's building program included the construction of 116,000 buildings, 78,000 bridges, and 651,000 miles (1,047,000 km) of road and the improvement of 800 airports." Columbia Encyclopedia
The American Experience Surviving the Dust Bowl: the Works Progress Administration. "For an average salary of $41.57 a month, WPA employees built bridges, roads, public buildings, public parks and airports."
EH.Net's Works Progress Administration An economics professor analysis of the WPA.
Final Report on the WPA Program Published in 1946. WPA outcomes including the employment of more than 3 million people in 1939.
Gilder-Lehrman Institute of American History the WPA: Antidote to the Great Depression? Nick Taylor, author of American Made: the Enduring Legacy of the WPA, offers an overall assessment of the WPA.
Library of Congress photographs in The Great Depression and the New Deal, part of its American Memory project.
How Stuff Works: 12 WPA Projects that Still Exist Including the American Guide Series, LaGuardia Airport, Camp David, and Jackson Pollock's Male and Female.
New Deal Network offers documents, photographs, and lesson plans.
Records of the WPA National Archives and Records Administration's finding aid to its holdings.
WPA: the African-American Mosaic - WPA significance for African Americans
|Kenner, Louisiana, 1936; WPA night school for African Americans, Courtesy of the WPA|
By the People, for the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 The Library of Congress' collection of more than 900 posters produced under the auspices of the WPA.
During the years of the WPA, the Federal Art Project sponsored artists and art-related activities throughout thousands of communities throughout the U.S.
|WPA poster for WEB Du Bois' "Haiti"
Courtesy of Library of Congress
The U.S. Works Projects Administration Federal Music Project Collection at the Library of Congress states that the main goal of the Federal Music Project and subsequent WPA Music Program was "to give employment to professional musicians registered on the relief rolls." Among the interesting subsets is Florida Folklife from the WPA Collections.
WPA California Folk Music Project - California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties offers us a multi-media collection including documents, photographs, and recordings spanning a variety of ethnic groups in Northern California during the 1930s.
Musicians at tavern on the south side of Chicago
"Black theater and Yiddish, French, German, Italian, and Spanish language presentations. There has been nothing comparable to it since." - American Treasures of the Library of Congress: Federal Theatre
New Deal Stage: Selections from the Federal Theatre Project, 1935-1939
Visit George Mason University's Federal Theatre Project Materials Collections to see theatrical posters and set and costume designs for more than 500 Federal Theatre Project productions.
American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940
Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938
Do You Speak American? - Power of Prose: the WPA
National Public Radio - "America Eats" - a Hidden Archive from the 1930s offers audio files featuring commentary on one of the more unusual WPA Writers' projects: America Eats, an exploration of American foodways in the 1930s.
New Deal Programs: Selected Library of Congress Resources - Federal Writers' Project contains a useful article on the Federal Writers' Project, information about manuscript collections and online resources.
Maryland Digital Cultural Heritage - selection of WPA photographs furnishes a look at WPA activities in Maryland.
WPA and CCC: Catoctin Mountain Park tells the fascinating story of how the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps teamed up to create the beautiful Catoctin Mountain Park.
|CCC at a farm, Beltsville, MD, 1933, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum|
If you would like more information, e-mail us, or contact us through mail or phone:
Social Science and History Department
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Telephone: (410) 396-5321
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