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Register of the WPA San Joaquin County Projects files, 1935-1941
MS 104  
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Abstract

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: WPA San Joaquin County Projects Files,
    Date (inclusive): 1935-1941
    Collection number: MS 104
    Creator: Works Projects Administration, San Joaquin County
    Extent: 2 boxes
    Repository: University of the Pacific. Library. Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections
    Stockton, CA 95211
    Shelf location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information


    Collection is open for research.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], WPA San Joaquin County Projects files, MS 104, Holt-Atherton Department of Special Collections, University of the Pacific Library


    The U.S. Congress established the Works Progress Administration (later the Work Projects Administration) in Spring 1935. The Congress appropriated over $1 billion for this agency, which paid wages ranging from fifteen to ninety dollars per month to trans-form individuals then on direct relief into "work relief" public employees. The WPA carried an average of 2.1 million workers on its rolls each year between 1935 and 1941. These government employees engaged in tasks as widely varied as hoeing weeds and creating bibliographies.
    Various county agencies submitted work proposals to the county Board of Supervisors, which, when approved by the board, were passed on to the WPA administration in San Francisco for final approval. The county was expected to pay some proportion of the work costs. Many projects failed to materialize due to lack of federal funds. The WPA was sometimes obliged to offer wages lower than they had expected to provide in order to salvage local projects.
    The files in this collection date from July 1935 to April 1941. They consist of WPA project proposal application forms, San Joaquin County Supervisor's resolutions on individual projects, and general correspondence relating to WPA policies, total county WPA expenditures, and approved or cancelled projects. Because project numbering varies from year to year and because numbering is sometimes lacking altogether on the official forms, the papers relating to specific project proposals are arranged by project proposal date.