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ERIC Number: EJ878909
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0037-7724
The WPA American Guide Series: Local History Treasures for the Classroom
Golston, Syd
Social Education, v74 n2 p69-70 Mar-Apr 2010
The Federal Writers' Project was an arm of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), Franklin Delano Roosevelt's massive program to put the unemployed back to work. The Writers' Project was charged with producing an extensive guidebook for each of the 48 states; and more than 6,000 local newspaper writers, novelists, poets, college professors, and local historians labored from 1935 to 1941 on these American Guide Series volumes. They are commonly regarded as masterpieces in social history, unique in the literature of the United States. These guidebooks can be found in local libraries, and several of them are coming back into the market as paperback reprints of the original manuscripts. They make wonderful classroom assignments, leading students to community sites they may never have explored, to oral interview opportunities, and to viewing their own neighborhoods as part of the panorama of American history. In this article, the author discusses using the WPA guidebooks in the classroom and presents an example that required a simple hour's research in a library, and an even briefer interview in a Massachusetts town hall. This example could be a great project for a high school student.
National Council for the Social Studies. 8555 Sixteenth Street #500, Silver Spring, MD 20910. Tel: 800-683-0812; Tel: 301-588-1800; Fax: 301-588-2049; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools; Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Massachusetts; United States