The Works Progress Administration (WPA) – after 1939, the Works Projects Administration – was a work-relief program created in 1935 by President Franklin Roosevelt’s Administration. It had employed over 8.5 million people by its demise in 1943. One of its programs was the Federal Writers Project (FWP), which included a folklore section. This section conducted fieldwork, recording songs, traditions, and stories across the nation. Originally created to gather material for the American Guide Series, later emphasis was placed upon fieldwork for the preservation of folk traditions for future generations.
Learning Unit: Zora Neale Hurston and the WPA in Florida
1936-1937 WPA field recordings at the Florida State Prison in Union County - T86-240
1939 WPA field recordings in Jacksonville - T86-243
1940 WPA field recordings in Mayport and Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation - T86-253
1940 WPA field recordings in Sebring - T86-255
1935 WPA field recordings in Eatonville - T86-234