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POL 499: Senior Seminar in Political Science: FDR: WPA Primary Sources

Primary Sources: Minnesota History Project

Works Progress Administration Collection.
The Works Progress Administration papers collection includes information related to the history of Minnesota collected and prepared under the auspices of the Federal Writers' Project, administrative files, and a photo and negative collection containing numerous views of WPA projects around the state of Minnesota.
MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid

  • Writers Project Research Notes
    The Minnesota Federal Writers' Project began in November, 1935. During its seven-year existence it issued a number of publications, including a state guide and several county and municipal histories. This series contains research notes, articles, drafts, and completed histories of counties, ethnic and nationality groups, Minnesota rivers, and miscellaneous subjects.
    MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid
  • Annals of Minnesota
    Compilation of the Annals of Minnesota was initiated by the Minnesota Federal Writers' Project in July, 1938. The project also was referred to as the Minnesota Annals and the Minnesota Newspaper Annals. Its purpose was to create a comprehensive reference file of historical information transcribed from articles published in Minnesota newspapers.
    MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid
  • Historical Records Survey
    Inventories of historical records existing in each county in Minnesota, prepared by WPA workers. In many instances, the worker also gathered information about the histories of the units assigned to them and prepared summaries of their findings.
    MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid
  • Administrative Files
    Includes letters, bulletins, speeches, numerous reports, and miscellaneous items.
    MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid
  • Works Project Administration Papers
    Material concerning various aspects of the history and archeology of Minnesota prepared by workers under the auspices of a WPA project. 
    MNHS call number: Digital Finding Aid
  • Photographs and Negatives Collection
    Series provides numerous views of WPA projects around the state of Minnesota. In addition to views of WPA projects, several photographs compiled by the WPA for local histories are also included: some of these views date back to the 1860s. 85 of Minnesota's counties are represented in this collection with the heaviest emphasis on Ramsey and Hennepin counties.
    MNHS call numberDigital Finding Aid
  • Work Projects Employees Files, 1930-1939
    Employment applications, personal record forms, and work records for persons employed by the Road Inventory Section under Work Projects Administration, Civil Works Administration, and State Emergency Relief Administration (SERA) funds; and bulletins and circulars issued by SERA on policies and procedures for work relief projects and personnel.
    MNHS call number: See the finding aid in the library (Highway Department: Planning and Programming Division).

Sources for the WPA