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Guide to the WPA Collection MS 314
MS 314  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Scope and Content
  • Arrangement
  • Preferred Citation
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Processing Information

  • Title: WPA Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 314
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 5.5 Linear feet (11 boxes)
    Date (bulk): Bulk, 1937-1942
    Date (inclusive): 1835-1942
    Abstract: This is an artificial collection of bound works created under several projects funded by the Works Progress Administration in San Diego during the late 1930s.
    creator: United States. Works Progress Administration.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    The Works Progress Administration was a New Deal agency formed in 1935 to alleviate unemployment. 8.5 million people were employed by the WPA over eight years, primarily unskilled labor carrying out public works projects such as the construction of buildings and roads. Some of the smaller projects such as Federal Project Number One employed musicians, writers, and other artists for large media and literacy projects.
    Most of the items in this collection were created for the City Library Extension Project, the City Schools Curriculum Project, or the Federal Writers’ Project. The City Library Extension Project had workers rebind pre-existing publications for use in local libraries. The San Diego City Schools Curriculum Project employed dozens of local workers to produce educational materials for numerous subjects and then test them in classrooms. Approximately 500 copies were produced of each approved work. The Federal Writers’ Project, run under the auspice of Federal Project Number One, funded the creation of local histories, oral histories, ethnographies, children’s books, and other civic-minded works.

    Scope and Content

    This is an artificial collection of bound works created under several projects funded by the Works Progress Administration in San Diego during the late 1930s. These include pre-existing publications rebound for library use, educational materials developed for classroom use, and local history materials on place names and historic landmarks.


    This collection is arranged in four series:
    Series I: City Library Extension Project;
    Series II: City Schools Curriculum Project;
    Series III: Federal Writers’ Project;
    Series IV: Miscellanea.
    Within each series, publications are arranged alphabetically by title.

    Preferred Citation

    WPA Collection, MS 314, San Diego History Center Document Archives, San Diego, CA.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Brent Stout in May 2016.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    City Library Extension Project.
    City Schools Curriculum Project.
    Federal Writers Project.