U.S. Work Projects Administration records, 1935-1943  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
United States. Work Projects Administration
Title
U.S. Work Projects Administration records
Dates
1935-1943 (inclusive)
Quantity
40 linear feet of shelf space
Collection Number
MC 77 (collection)
Summary
These records (1935-1943) of the U.S. Work Projects Administration (WPA) in Montana consist of administrative materials; historic record surveys of county, state, and federal agencies and local service and church organizations; and writers' project materials, including correspondence, research files, interviews with pioneers, and drafts of articles and books including Copper Camp, Land of Nakoda, and Montana Almanac, 1941.
Repository
Montana Historical Society, Research Center Archives
Montana Historical Society Research Center Archives
225 North Roberts
PO Box 201201
Helena MT
59620-1201
Telephone: 406-444-2681
Fax: 406-444-5297
mhslibrary@mt.gov
Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Work Projects Administration (originally the Works Progress Administration) was established in 1935 with Harry Hopkins at its head. Under Franklin D. Roosevelt's administration the WPA directed all relief projects except the CCC and the PWA. It was established to complete projects on public property at federal expense. By 1943, its termination date, the WPA had spent eleven billion dollars, given work to eight million people, and completed 250,000 public-works projects. President Roosevelt believed that artists, actors, musicians and writers were entitled to government aid during the depression, as well as farmers and other workers.

Two WPA programs undertaken in Montana were the Federal Writers' Project and the Historical Records Survey.

Montana's Writers' Project, guided by Byron Crane, employed teachers and writers to write state and local histories, interview pioneers, and prepare guidebooks for tourists. A few of the project's notable publications were Copper Camp (Butte history), Land of Nakoda (Assiniboine Indians), and the Montana State Almanac. In addition other unpublished accounts explored the state's livestock and mining history.

Montana's Historical Records Survey, headed by Paul C. Phillips, completed a massive statewide survey of private and public repositories. Included were records in Montana's fifty-six county court houses, state agencies, various civic organizations, churches, and federal offices located in the state. The project's field workers systematically surveyed these records and prepared inventories that were later published.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

These records are divided into three categories; Administrative, Federal Writers' Project, and Historical Records Survey. The administrative files include general correspondence, subject files, some financial records, and reports. The Writers' Project contains original writings, interviews, research data, and secondary source material. The bulk of this segment is various drafts of published works (Copper Camp, Land of Nakoda, etc.). Contained within the records are survey forms that detail the types of records maintained in the different county, state, and federal agencies. These vary from building forms to map surveys and were included in a final published format. The majority of the records (approximately 26 feet) comprise this final segment of WPA Papers.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Montana Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library before any reproduction use. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Item description and date. Name of Collection. Collection Number. [box and folder number]. Montana Historical Society Research Center. Archives. Helena, Montana.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection

Administration Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
General Correspondence
Box/Folder
1 / 1
Marcellene Baxter (Certification Officer)
1938-1939
1 / 2
W.T. Beaumont (State Statistician)
1937-1938
1 / 3
E.R. Blinn (Director of Finance)
1937
1 / 4
Clara E. Bower
1939-1940
1 / 5
Rose C. Bresnahan (Director of Women's and Professional Projects)
1938
1 / 6
Eugene C. Burris (Director of Employment Division)
1938
1 / 7
B-D (correspondents include Roy Bass, Benjamin H. Chaffin, Dorothy Clark, Ezra L. Crane, Joyce Daggett)
1938-1939
1 / 8
Sargent B. Child (Director of Historical Records Survey)
1939-1942
1 / 9
Pearl B. Crane
1939-1940
1 / 10-12
Federal Editorial Staff (Agriculture Department-Veterans Administration, Misc.)
1936-1940
1 / 13
Field workers: Elmer D. Baird
1939-1941
1 / 14
Field workers: Robert F. Carter
1939
1 / 15
Field workers: Sylvia Goldberg
1940-1942
1 / 16
Field workers: Henry Jorgensen
1938-1942
1 / 17
Field workers: C.H. Lyman
1939-1940
1 / 18
Field workers: Douglas McMurtrie
1939-1941
1 / 19
Field workers: Mary Aidan Murphy
1939-1941
1 / 20
Field workers: Freida Selberg
1939
1 / 21
Field workers: L.E. Thompson
1940-1941
1 / 22
Field workers: vital statistics
1940-1941
1 / 23
Field workers: Beaverhead County
1937-1940
1 / 24
Field workers: Big Horn County
1938-1939
1 / 25
Field workers: Blaine County
1938-1941
1 / 26
Field workers: Broadwater County
1938-1939
2 / 1
Field workers: Carbon County
1940-1942
2 / 2
Field workers: Carter County
1940-1941
2 / 3
Field workers: Cascade County
1937-1941
2 / 4
Field workers: Chouteau County
1937-1941
2 / 5
Field workers: Custer County
1938-1941
2 / 6
Field workers: Daniels County
1938-1940
2 / 7
Field workers: Dawson County
1941-1942
2 / 8
Field workers: Deer Lodge County
1939
2 / 9
Field workers: Fallon County
1941
2 / 10
Field workers: Fergus County
1938-1941
2 / 11
Field workers: Flathead County
1937-1940
2 / 12
Field workers: Gallatin County
1938-1939
2 / 13
Field workers: Garfield County
1938-1940
2 / 14
Field workers: Glacier County
1940-1942
2 / 15
Field workers: Golden Valley County
1938-1941
2 / 16
Field workers: Granite County
1938-1940
2 / 17
Field workers: Hill County
1941-1942
2 / 18
Field workers: Jefferson County
1938-1939
2 / 19
Field workers: Judith Basin County
1938-1939
2 / 20
Field workers: Lake County
1937-1940
2 / 21
Field workers: Lewis and Clark County
1937-1941
2 / 22
Field workers: Liberty County
1938-1941
2 / 23
Field workers: Lincoln County
1938-1939
2 / 24
Field workers: McCone County
1941
2 / 25
Field workers: Madison County
1938-1940
2 / 26
Field workers: Meagher County
1937-1942
2 / 27
Field workers: Mineral County
1939
2 / 28
Field workers: Missoula County
1938-1939
2 / 29
Field workers: Musselshell County
1937-1942
2 / 30
Field workers: Park County
1939-1940
2 / 31
Field workers: Petroleum County
1941-1942
2 / 32
Field workers: Pondera County
1938-1941
2 / 33
Field workers: Phillips County
1941
2 / 34
Field workers: Powder River County
1941-1942
2 / 35
Field workers: Powell County
1938-1939
2 / 36
Field workers: Ravalli County
1937-1940
3 / 1
Field workers: Richland County
1938-1942
3 / 2
Field workers: Roosevelt County
1938-1940
3 / 3
Field workers: Sanders County
1937-1940
3 / 4
Field workers: Sheridan County
1937-1942
3 / 5
Field workers: Silver Bow County
1937-1941
3 / 6
Field workers: Stillwater County
1938-1941
3 / 7
Field workers: Sweetgrass County
1938-1941
3 / 8
Field workers: Teton County
1938-1941
3 / 9
Field workers: Toole County
1938-1939
3 / 10
Field workers: Treasure County
1940
3 / 11
Field workers: Valley County
1938-1941
3 / 12
Field workers: Wheatland County
1937-1941
3 / 13
Field workers: Wibaux County
1940-1941
3 / 14
Field workers: Yellowstone County
1938-1942
3 / 15
James Gilligan
1941
3 / 16
Sylvia Goldberg (Supervising Clerk)
1941
3 / 17
P.M. Hamer
1937-1941
3 / 18
H-M (correspondents include Leah Harlow, Harley A. Howell, Henry Jorgensen, Mary V. Kelly, Dean Lowry, Joseph A. Mayo, Robert J. Mercer, Grace Miles)
1938
3 / 19
Charles H. Lyman (State Supervisor): Historical Records Survey
1938-1941
3 / 20
Charles H. Lyman (State Supervisor): miscellaneous
1938-1942
3 / 21
Frank McCarthy (State Procurement Officer)
1937
3 / 22
Mary A. Murphy (Supervising Clerk)
1939-1941
3 / 23
Paul O'Gorman (Assistant Director of Finance)
1937
3 / 24
Harry I. Oleson (Chief of Payroll Division)
1937
4 / 1
Paul C. Phillips (State Director)
1937-1939
4 / 2
P-S (correspondents include Carl Frank Penland, Edith Potter, Mabel V. Reynolds, J. Brad Seely, Ida May Stewart)
1936-1939
4 / 3
C.R. Quigley (Senior Accountant)
1937
4 / 4
G.A. Robertson (Chief Clerk)
1938
4 / 5
Thomas E. Rosenberger
1938-1939
4 / 6
F.J. Shryne (Chief of Payroll Section)
1937
4 / 7
Robert H. Slover (Regional Director)
1940
4 / 8
Harry Tibbs (Chief Assignment Officer)
1937
4 / 9
T-Y (correspondents include Donald S. Uggan, Donald W. Upham, George T. Young)
1938-1939
4 / 10
Miscellaneous (correspondents include Historical Records Surveys from other states, E.W. Hunke, Charles H. Lyman)
1939-1941
Subject Files
Box/Folder
4 / 11
Alphabetical index
undated
4 / 12
American Imprints Inventory
1938-1941
4 / 13
Applications
1939-1940
4 / 14
Bibliography of Graduate Theses
1942
4 / 15
Birth certificate information: WPA workers
1941-1942
4 / 16
Budget
1936
4 / 17
Church records manual
1939
5 / 1
Church records: inventory
1940
5 / 2
Circular letters: from Paul C. Phillips
1937-1939
5 / 3
Civic organizations: Havre and Roundup
1936
5 / 4
Civilian defense
1941-1942
5 / 5
Civilian organization survey
1939-1942
5 / 6
Clerk of district court duties
1937
5 / 7
Conference (Chicago, Illinois)
1936
5 / 8
Conference (Salt Lake City, Utah)
1939
5 / 9
Conservation of civilian resources
1941-1942
5 / 10
Contributions to Historical Records Survey
1939-1942
5 / 11
Corporation license tax
1933-1937
5 / 12
County Clerk: abstract of laws
undated
5 / 13
County Commissioners: abstract of laws
1941-1942
6 / 1
County Commissioners: abstract of laws
1941
6 / 2
County Commissioners: powers and duties
undated
6 / 3
County offices: official duties
1938-1940
6 / 4
County officials: commendations of survey
1940
6 / 5
County records
1938-1941
6 / 6
County records: permission to survey
1939-1942
6 / 7
County Treasurer: abstract of laws
1940
6 / 8
Cross referencing
1937-1938
6 / 9
Description and purpose of Historical Records Survey
1938-1939
6 / 10
"Directory of Churches and Religious Organizations in Montana"
1941
7 / 1
"Directory of Federal Agencies in Montana"
1936-1939
7 / 2
Editing
1936-1938
7 / 3
Editorial comments on inventories
1938-1940
7 / 4
Exemptions for workers
1937-1938
7 / 5
Field workers
1938-1939
7 / 6
Form 403 (re employment)
1936-1938
7 / 7
Forms: instructional
1937-1939
7 / 8-9
"Guide to Public Vital Statistics in Montana" [first and final drafts]
1940-1941
7 / 10
"Instructions for Public Records Inventory"
1941
7 / 11
Mailing lists [for publications]
1939-1942
8 / 1-11
Mailing lists [for publications]
1938-1943
8 / 12
Manuscript repositories
1938-1941
8 / 13
Manuscript Survey: Madison County
1936
8 / 14-16
Manuscript Survey: for Montana Historical Society
1936
9 / 1-4
Manuscript Survey: for Montana Historical Society
1936
9 / 5
Manuscript Survey: miscellaneous
1936
9 / 6
Map inventories
1942
9 / 7
"Men at Work"
1940-1941
9 / 8
Missoula County publicity
1938
9 / 9-11
Newspaper surveys: Montana Historical Society
1936
9 / 12
Painting and statue surveys
1936
9 / 13
Project encumbrance requests
1937-1939
10 / 1
Project proposals
1936-1941
10 / 2
Project proposals: rejected
1942
10 / 3
Project publicity
1939-1940
10 / 4
Projects pending
1939
10 / 5
Records filing: court houses
1940
10 / 6-7
Records preservation
1939-1940
10 / 8
Requests: Historical Records Survey
1939
10 / 9
Requests: information
1939-1940
10 / 10
Scrap salvage (re recycling)
1942
10 / 11
Special projects
1943
10 / 12
Sponsor's contributions
1938-1939
10 / 13
State Almanac, 1940
1938-1940
10 / 14
Survey of Federaal Archives
1937-1940
10 / 15
Timekeeper's Manual
1939
Financial Records
Box/Folder
11 / 1
Job schedules
undated
11 / 2
Payroll
1936, 1938
11 / 3
Travel: Paul C. Phillips
1936-1939
11 / 4
Travel: Michael J. Walsh
1938-1939
11 / 5
Travel: miscellaneous
1938-1939
Reports
Box/Folder
11 / 6-7
Daily reports of work
1941
11 / 8
Labor reports
1938-1939
11 / 9
Progress reports of Historical Records Survey
1939-1940
12 / 1-2
Reports of progress and cost
1940-1941

Federal Writers' Project Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Writings
Box/Folder
12 / 3
Bozeman Avant-Courier excerpts
1871-1887
12 / 4
"The Bulletin" (Serviceman's newsletter)
1942
12 / 5-6
Butte City Guide
1936-1937
12 / 7
"Cattle Ranching in Montana" (partial segment)
undated
13 / 1-2
Copper Camp (press copy)
1943
13 / 3
"From Beaver to Beef" (chronology of livestock industry)
1941
13 / 4-6
"From Beaver to Beef" (draft and final draft)
1941
13 / 7-8
Glacier National Park (The American Guide Series)
1939
13 / 9
"Grazing History" (biographical and reference material)
1940
14 / 1-6
"Grazing History" (sections I-VIII)
1940
14 / 7
Helena City Guide
1938
14 / 8-10
"Hell to Breakfast Tales" (rough draft, carbon and press copies)
1941
15 / 1
"Hell to Breakfast Tales" (manuscript and illustrations)
1941
15 / 2
William Henry Jackson Photograph Album
1940
15 / 3-8
Land of Nakoda (1st-4th drafts)
1939-1941
16 / 1-7
Land of Nakoda (4th draft, revised and press copies, illustrations)
1941
17 / 1-4
Land of Nakoda (handwritten notes)
1939
17 / 5-6
Land of Nakoda (revisions, notes, etc.)
1941-1942
17 / 7
Land of Nakoda (research material)
1941-1942
18 / 1
Land of Nakoda (page proofs)
1941-1942
18 / 2
Lewistown Guide Book
1942
18 / 3
"Men at Work" (Montgomery M. Atwater writings)
1941
18 / 4
"Men at Work" (William A. Burke writings)
1941
18 / 5
"Men at Work" (Ralph Powell writings)
1941
18 / 6
"Men at Work" (Ed Reynolds writings)
1941
18 / 7
Mineral County histories and interviews by Mabel Olson and Pearl Crane (include James Harmon, Lizzie Miles, J.T. LaCasse, Henrietta LaCasse, Charles Gildersleeve, Lee Gildersleeve, George Gildersleeve, Henry Reslip, Alec Berg, Adam Thielan, Laura Riefflin, Orrin Emera Hutchins, James Harman; Superior, Cedar Creek, Moose City, Meadow Creek, Carter, mining)
1939-1940
18 / 8
Mineral County histories and interviews by Mabel Olson and Pearl Crane (include Mr. and Mrs. Harmon J. Bennett, Irene Bundrick, J.C. Hadley; re "Cedar Creek towns", "Superior Hotel", "Superior Postoffices", "Sage of Saltese...", Sunrise City, Pardee, Superior, Quartz Creek)
1939-1940
18 / 9
Mineral County histories and interviews by Mabel Olson and Pearl Crane (include George W. Thomas, Alec Berg, Cready Forry, James Stewart, Mrs. E.J. Edwards, Mrs. Thomas Hanlon, J.W. King, William Beach, Howard Nickle; re pioneers, mining, Iron Mountain Tunnel, Amador Mine, packing, Mullan Trail)
1939-1940
18 / 10
Mineral County histories and interviews by Mabel Olson and Pearl Crane (include Sam Clem interview plus many excerpts from newspapers re mining in Mineral County)
1939-1940
18 / 11
Mineral County histories and interviews by Mabel Olson and Pearl Crane ("Small Metal Mining Questionnaire" includes Alec Berg, Mary Frances Dill, James Harmon, Everett William Harrison, J.W. King, Jacob Krulatz, Louie Lozeau, Adam Thielan, Frederick William Wilson, John Wheeler, plus numerous small placers)
1939-1940
18 / 12
"Mining History" (re jargon)
undated
18 / 13
"Mining History" (Montana ghost towns by Si Stoddard: includes Black Paddy, Black Pine, Burlington, Cable, Champion, Glendale, Neihart, New Chicago, Pioneer, Quigley, Silver Bow)
1941-1942
18 / 14
"Mining History" (Montana ghost towns by Gerald Shepherd; includes Burlington, Butte, Cataract, Basin)
1941-1942
19 / 1-2
"Montana, a Dramatic Chronicle" (director's manual and edited version)
1939
19 / 3-5
"Montana, a Profile in Pictures" (revisions and copies)
1940
19 / 6-9
State Almanac (original entries)
1941
20 / 1-3
State Almanac (original entries)
1941
20 / 1-7
State Almanac (research questionnaires)
1938
20 / 4-5
State Almanac (1940 draft)
1940
20 / 6-7
State Almanac (press copy)
1941
21 / 1-7
State Almanac (research questionnaires)
1938
22 / 1-7
State Almanac (research questionnaires)
1938
23 / 1-7
State Almanac (research questionnaires)
1938
24 / 1-7
State Almanac (research questionnaires)
1938
25 / 1-4
State Almanac (research questionnaires)
1938-1940
25 / 5-7
"Montana Livestock History" (outline)
1870-1917
25 / 8-9
"Montana Livestock History" ("Beaver to Beef")
1954
26 / 1
"Montana Livestock History" (McCone County)
1936-1942
26 / 2
"Montana Livestock History" (range cattle)
1940-1942
26 / 3
"Montana Livestock History" (research)
1940
26 / 4
"Montana Livestock History" (unidentified)
undated
26 / 5-38
Montana State Guide [follows order of published book]
1938
27 / 1-19
Montana State Guide [follows order of published book]
1938
27 / 20-23
Montana State Guide (corrections, criticisms, supplementary instructions)
1938
27a / 1-2
Montana State Guide (printers' proofs)
1939
27b / 1-11
Montana State Guide (state editorial copy: follows order of published book)
1939
27b / 12
"1940 Almanac" (stories not used)
1940
27b / 13
"1940 Almanac" (first draft)
1940
27b / 14
"1940 Almanac" (research material)
1940
28-31 /
Printed material from a variety of sources A-Y
31 / 34-35
Radio scripts (Montana Boosters)
1938
32 / 1
Radio scripts (Montana Boosters)
1939
32 / 2
Radio scripts (Northwest Tribute)
undated
32 / 3
Radio scripts (miscellaneous)
1938
32 / 4
Service Man's Almanac (first draft and handwritten copies)
1942

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Authors
  • Genealogy--Sources
  • Ghost towns
  • History--Research
  • Mines and mineral resources--Montana--Mineral County
  • Public works
  • Corporate Names :
  • United States. Work Projects Administration (creator)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Black Pine (Mont.)--Industries
  • Burlington (Mont.)
  • Cable City (Mont.)--Industries
  • Cataract (Mont.)
  • Champion (Mont.)
  • Glendive (Mont.)--Politics and government
  • Mineral County (Mont.)--Industries
  • Neihart (Mont.)
  • New Chicago (Mont.)
  • Pioneer (Mont.)
  • Quigley (Mont.)