This is the "Overview" page of the "WPA: Works Progress Administration/Work Projects Administration" guide.
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WPA: Works Progress Administration/Work Projects Administration   Tags: 1930s, 1940s, great depression, labor, politics, u.s. government  

Researching the WPA, a New Deal agency responsible for operating a wide variety of work-relief programs during the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Last Updated: May 6, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Overview Print Page

Research Options

  • Visit the MNHS Library
    Original materials, records, and newspapers on microfilm are available on site and reference staff can help with research.
  • MNHS Research Services
    Order copies of records, articles, or other specific materials from the MNHS collections.
  • Interlibrary Loan
    MNHS loans out most microfilm materials. Contact your local library for more information and assistance with this service.
  • Online Research
    Some items such as newspapers, articles, photos and objects are available online. Look for links within this guide.
  • Other Libraries
    Many books listed in the Secondary Sources page can be borrowed from other libraries.

Related Research Guides & Webpages



Putting unemployed Americans to work during the Great Depression was the task of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's Works Progress Administration, whose name later changed to the Work Projects Administration.  Most people called it the WPA, an acronym that works for both names.  Minnesota had many WPA programs, and the MHS Library holds a great variety of items that document the work of the state's WPA workers between 1935 and 1943, when the program ended.

WPA worker making posters for Minneapolis Public Library events, 1936.

Works Progress Administration Collection

     Other major WPA initiatives in Minnesota:

  • Federal Art Project
  • Infrastructure/Public Works projects
  • Other Photographs 

MHS Reference Staff

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Gale Family Library
MN Historical Society Library
345 West Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

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Guide Author

Debbie Miller

Reference Specialist

Minnesota Historical Society Library • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300

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