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Indiana Federal Writers' Project/Program Collection (WPA Papers)

Faculty Collection

This is a collection of data prepared during the Frank Delano Roosevelt presidency, initially under the auspices of the Works Project Administration (WPA). Writers were employed in each state as part of the Federal Writers' Project to gather information for the American Guide Series, and other publications. In Indiana, field collectors generated over 60,000 pages of non-duplicate manuscript material on a multitude of aspects of life in all 92 counties. As a result, Indiana: A Guide to the Hoosier State, was published in 1941.

The materials include data on agriculture, archaeology, education, ethnicity, flora and fauna, and geology. Also included are accounts of local history, folklore and legends, music, place-name anecdotes, recipes and cures, and many other subjects.Of significance is a collection of slave narratives included in the WPA files, consisting of around 140 interviews with ex-slaves or their descendants living in Indiana in the 1930s.

Lists, Databases, Etc.

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