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September 17, 2009

Minnesota and the Federal Writers’ Project Exhibit

Filed under: What's New — Lori Williamson @ 4:00 pm

WPA Fair booth, 1938

The Great Depression was a terrible time for Minnesota and the rest of the nation. One of the New Deal programs intended to get people back to work was the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The WPA was one of the Roosevelt Administration’s most successful projects, creating jobs in everything from road construction to feeding people to literacy and more.

WPA programs focusing on the arts produced some of the best examples of federal support. In addition to producing amazing works of art, the Federal Writers’ Project was designed to encourage written work and support writers through the tough times.  Among the most well-known products are the state guides series.  Other works created by the Writers’ Project focused on history, society, and the land around them. Some examples are on display in the Library cases.

This exhibit will be on view when the Library is open, and is part of the Soul of a People: Writing America’s Story project, organized by the Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library. For more information about other programs in this series, please go to:


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3 Responses to “Minnesota and the Federal Writers’ Project Exhibit”

  1. David Taylor Says:

    There’s more about the Minnesota experience of the WPA Writers’ Project, including Meridel Le Sueur’s WPA work and her interviews with other women and how they contributed to her novel “The Girl,” in the book “Soul of a People: The WPA Writers’ Project Uncovers Depression America” (Wiley, 2009). More about the book here: http://tinyurl.com/5e8y3m.

  2. Patrick Coleman Says:

    David, Thanks for the tip. I will order the book, “Soul of a People:…”, for the library collections here at the MHS. I am looking forward to further input from you on the 150 Best Minnesota Books blog. Few would know better. p

  3. Historic Financial Help for Local History | Minnesota Local History Says:

    [...] these programs also employed writers and historians, such as the Works Progress Administration’s Federal Writers Project that included useful suggestions for what would now be called heritage tourism. Again, the money [...]

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