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Finding Aid for the Federal Writers' Project of California records, 1930-1942
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Collection Details
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  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Federal Writers' Project of California records
    Date (inclusive): 1930-1942
    Collection number: 306
    Creator: Federal Writers' Project (Calif.)
    Extent: 206 document boxes (103 linear ft.) 1 oversized box (1 linear ft.) 1 flat box (.5 linear ft.) 1 oversized folder (3 linear ft.)
    Abstract: Records of the Southern California section of the Federal Writers' Project, including writing and research for the WPA Guide to California, the Los Angeles guide, the local history research material (never published), art object inventory, records of personnel, war and civilian defense material, and administrative documents. The bulk of material focuses on Guide Book research and material for Los Angeles and other Southern California regions.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library of Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Provenance/Source of Acquisition

    Collection acquired prior to October, 1948.

    Processing Information

    Collection minimally processed by Joanna Black in the Center for Primary Research and Training (CFPRT), with assistance from Kelley Wolfe Bachli, 2010. Past processing of a portion of the collection by George Sanchez, 1986. Folder titles have been maintained from their original titles, as provided by the Federal Writers' Project. Because of this, discrepancies exist in folder title structures, spellings, and organizations. Files have been divided into series and subseries according to primary subjects, as interpreted by the collection processor. Some overlap between subjects does exist, but files were placed within the section determined as most relevant.
    A portion of the processing of this collection was generously supported by Arcadia   funds.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Federal Writers' Project of California records (Collection 306). Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233009 


    The Federal Writers' Project began in 1935 under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal program, as part of the Works Progress Administration. Employing writers, researchers, editors, historians, and other field workers, FWP is best known for compiling the American Guide Series books that detailed the histories of each state. This collection is from the Southern California branch of the FWP and contains essays and research relating to city and county government, social and cultural institutions, commerce and industry, arts and culture, sports and recreation, local history and folklore, war and civilian defense, and municipalities and cities, as well as numerous other subjects used toward FWP assignments. The program ended in 1943 after state and federal sponsorship halted.

    Scope and Content

    Records of the Southern California section of the WPA Guide to California, the Los Angeles guide, the local history research material (never published), war and civil defense documents, records of personnel, and some administrative documents. Included is material on ethnic minorities, flora and fauna, labor and industry, churches, art, the impact of war on Southern California, archaeological materials, cities, civilian defense, agriculture, health, sports and recreation, folklore, LA World War II posters, Hollywood Writers' Mobilization, and project employee files.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Federal Writers' Project (Calif.)--Archives.
    California--Guidebooks--Archival resources.
    Los Angeles (Calif.)--Description and travel.