Request Material

W.P.A. Georgia Writers Project life stories

W.P.A. Georgia Writers Project life stories

Descriptive Summary

Title: W.P.A. Georgia Writers Project life stories
Creator: Hargrett Library
Inclusive Dates: 1939-1940
Language(s): English
Extent: 1.2 Linear Feet 3 document boxes
Collection Number: ms2872
Repository: Hargrett Library

Collection Description

Historical Note

The WPA Federal Writers Project was a program established in the United States in 1935 by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) as part of the New Deal struggle against the Great Depression. It provided jobs for unemployed writers, editors, and research workers. Directed by Henry G. Alsberg, it operated in all states and at one time employed 6,600 men and women. The American Guide series, the project's most important achievement, included guides for every state and territory (except Hawaii), as well as for Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Orleans, and Philadelphia; for several major highways (U.S. 1, Ocean Highway, Oregon Trail); and for scores of towns, villages, and counties. The state guides, encyclopaedic in scope, combined travel information with essays on geography, architecture, history, and commerce. The project also produced ethnic studies, folklore collections, local histories, nature studies-a total of more than 1,000 books and pamphlets. Encyclopedia Britannica Online (Retrieved September 23, 2009)

Scope and Content

The collection consists of over 150 oral history interviews. In 1939 and 1940 the W.P.A. workers went to the homes and businesses of men and women, both black and white, and asked them to tell about their lives and business experiences. The stories were written down in the words and dialect used. The stories were later edited, which included changing the real names of the persons mentioned and changing some of the titles. The majority of the persons interviewed lived in the Athens area. Some of those interviewed remembered the days of slavery and the Civil War. Others discussed their jobs, such as farmer, washwoman, principal, and insurance agent. All of the transcripts are photocopies.

Organization and Arrangement

Unarranged. Stories are listed by title in no particular order. This collection contains much duplicate material, the originals of which may be located in other collections. Consult an archivist for assistance.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

W.P.A. Georgia Writers Project life stories, ms2872, Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library, The University of Georgia Libraries.

Finding Aid Publication

Finding aid prepared on: 2010 August 9.

Related Materials and Subjects

Subject Terms

Athens (Ga.) -- History.
Business enterprises -- Georgia -- Athens.
Farmers -- Georgia -- Athens -- Interviews.
Freedmen -- Georgia.
Georgia -- Social life and customs.
Insurance agents -- Georgia -- Athens -- Interviews.
School principals -- Georgia -- Athens -- Interviews.
Slavery -- Georgia -- History.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Personal narratives.
United States. Works Progress Administration

Related Collections in this Repository

Related materials available in the following collections of this repository: Works Progress Administration in Georgia photographs, ms2861; Works Progress Administration, Georgia records survey, ms1063; Telamon Cuyler collection, ms1170; W.P.A. Georgia Writers Project, ms1500.

Series Descriptions and Folder Listing

11De Trubles I's Seen
See also De Trubles I's Seen in Ms 1500, 63:1
11Principal of Grammar School
See also Principal of Grammar School Thirty Three Years in Ms 1500, 63:1
11A Good Investment
12Negro Life on a Farm
See also Negro Life on a Farm in Ms 1500, 63:2
12I Ain't No Midwife
12I'se a Fast 'Oman
See also I'se a Fast 'Oman in Ms 1500, 63:2
13Bea, The Washwoman
See also Bea, The Washwoman in Ms 1500, 63:3
14Mr. Richard
See also The Fishermen in Ms 1500, 64:1
14Making the Best Of It
See also Making the Best Of It in Ms 1500, 64:1
14Mildred Lawson
See also Mildred Lawson in Ms 1500, 64:1
14It Wasn't So Easy
See also It Wasn't So Easy in Ms 1500, 64:1
15The Man Who Out Thought the Other Fellow
See also The Man Who Out Thought the Other Fellow in Ms 1500, 64:2
15A Visit with Aunt Joe
See also A Visit with Aunt Jerry in Ms 1500, 64:2
15Life During Confederate Days
See also Life During Confederate Days in Ms 1500, 64:2
15A Air-Minded Family
See also A Air-Minded Family in Ms 1500, 64:2
15I Am Reaping in Tears
See also I Am Reaping in Tears What I Sowed in Fun in Ms 1500, 64:2
16New Way Dry Cleaning and Laundry
See also A Visit to a Laundry and Dry Cleaning Plant in Ms 1500, 64:3
15A Day in a Store
See also Day in a Department Store in Ms 1500, 64:3
16The Depression Was a Republican Trick
See also The Depression Was a Republican Trick in Ms 1500, 64:3
16A Visit to a Flower Shop
See also Woman Florist in Ms 1500, 64:3
16Mrs. Whelchel
See also untitled story in Ms 1500, 64:3
16The More Modest Among Us
See also The More Modest Among Us in Ms 1500, 64:3
16The Unwelcome Caller
See also The Unwelcome Caller in Ms 1500, 64:3
16God Helped Us
See also God Helped Us in Ms 1500, 64:3
16Bargain House
16Edward Walcott
See also Edward Walcott in Ms 1500, 64:3
16Cosmetics and Coal
See also Cosmetics and Coal in Ms 1500, 64:3
17I Want to Die in Peace
See also I Want to Die in Peace in Ms 1500, 64:4
17Mrs. Leila Bramblett
See also Life on 'Happy Top' in Ms 1500, 64:4
17Honesty and Fairness to the Bitter End
See also Honesty and Fairness to the Bitter End in Ms 1500, 64:4
17The Successful Farmer
See also The Successful Farmer in Ms 1500, 64:4
17The Sunshine Lady
See also The Sunshine Lady in Ms 1500, 64:4
17I'm Planning to Make a Come Back
See also I'm Planning to Make a Come Back in Ms 1500, 64:4
17A Farming Preacher-Prophet
See also A Farming Preacher-Prophet in Ms 1500, 64:4
18Reminiscences and Recollections
18Ernest Gerber
18The Poppy Lady
18Reminiscence of a Negro Preacher
18Hopes 'At Somebody Will Come Along
18The Capital City Insurance
19My Ups and Downs
19Mrs. Marguerite R. Thomas
19Cindy Wright
19Mrs. Janie Bradberry Harris
19Mr. Trout
19Mr. Doolittle
21Turnips Today, Turnips Tomorrow., 1939
21Life History- revised version of "Guess We Had Moving Fever", 1938
21From Around the World to a Georgia Farm, 1939
22Julie Nickerson, 1939
22The Piano Salesman, 1939
22Papa, 1939
23The Relief Lady, 1939
23Right Livin', 1939
23Reverses, 1939
23It Wasn't So Easy (duplicate), 1939
23A Visit to the Country, 1939
23I've Took in Sewing Fifty Years, 1939
23Life of a Retired Mill Worker, 1939
23I Ain't No Midwife, 1939
24I Maids for the Co-Eds, 1939
24I Don't Know What's the Matter, 1939
24The Wandering Beautician, 1939
24Life History of Mrs. Ann Waldrop, 1939
25A Visit to the Jail, 1939
25Life on "Happy Top", 1939
25Principal of Grammar School Thirty-three Years, 1939
25The Carpenter of Lickskillet, 1939
25Bea, the Washerwoman (duplicate), 1939
25A Visit to a Laundry and Dry Cleaning Plant, 1939
26From Farm to Filling Station, 1939
26Kay's Shop, 1939
26The Poppy Lady (duplicate), 1939
26The Three Sisters, 1939
26Edward Walcott, 1939
27I Cater to Colored People, 1939
27I've Been Drifting, 1939
27I've Been Preaching Ever Since I Could Talk, 1939
27The Wrighton Sisters, 1939
28How Many Days Have I Regretted, 1939
28Maybe We'll Save a Little Money, 1939
28Grocery Store, 1939
28A WPA Worker, 1939
28The Barbecue Stand, 1939
28The Poro Beauty Shoppe, 1939
29The Red, White, and Blue Barber Shop, 1939
29An Air-Minded Family, 1939
29Mildred Lawson (duplicate), 1939
29A Negro Insurance Executive, 1939
29The Life of a Lawyer, 1939
29I Got My Education the Hard Way, 1939
29And Hopes that Somebody Will Come Along to Talk To, 1939
210Day in a Department Store , 1939
210A Farming Preacher- Prophet, 1939
210Mammy, 1939
210A Visit with Aunt Jerry, 1939
210A Session of the City Court, 1939
210Negro Fraternal Insurance, 1939
211A Versatile Craftswoman, 1939
211Coffins and Caskets, 1939
211The Tale of a Tailoress, 1939
211Maid of All Work, 1939
211A Negro Dentist, 1939
212I Lak's a Good Living, 1939
212All I Do is Just Heads, 1939
212The Oldest Barber in Town, 1939
212The Woman Dentist, 1939
212Waiting Room in a Bus Station, 1939
212The City Blacksmith, 1939
212The Bargain House, 1939
212The Lilac Beauty Shop, 1939
213The Boarding House Operator, 1939
213The Capital City Insurance Company, 1939
213You Have to Get It While They're Crying, 1939
213A Patent Medicine Vendor, 1939
213Cindy Wright, 1939
213A Visit to a Flower Shop, 1939
31A Negro Funeral Director, 1939
31Yes Lord, I've Done Tried to Serve You Faithful, 1939
31Old Shoe Comfort in New Shoe Appearance, 1939
31A Custome is Always Right, 1939
31Veterinarian, Poet, and Politician, 1939
32I Like America, 1939
32Madame Lucy, 1939
32Susie Ray, 1939
32The Fisherman, 1939
32Woman Florist, 1939
33Wood Engraver in Paradise, 1939
33Guess We Had Moving Fever (duplicate), 1939
33Clairvoyant, 1939
33Life History of a Saleslady, 1939
33Janice (duplicate), 1939
33Untitled, 1939
33So We Can Have Things Like Other Folks, 1939
33Life History of Negro Housemaid, 1939
33Homer L. Pike, 1939
34Nightwatchman, 1939
34Life History (duplicate), 1939
34Maurice Russell, 1939
34Laundryman, 1939
34Root Doctor, 1939
34I Managed to Carry On, 1939
35I's Still Traveling 'Cause I Got Faith in God, 1939
35Teacher- Social Worker , 1939
35Unable to Stage a Comeback, 1939
35The Voice of God Spoke to Me, 1939
35The 'Lil Black Girl, 1939
35The Lord Was With Us, 1939
35I's Always Had a Hard Time, 1939
36The Family of an Automobile Worker, 1939
36The Story of Selina W., 1939
36Papa (duplicate), 1939
36Let Me Live!, 1939
36Nannie Hawkins, 1939
36{Pine Mountain Valley], 1939
36Not a Life Story, 1939