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WPA: Works Progress Administration/Work Projects Administration: Overview

Researching the WPA, a New Deal agency responsible for operating a wide variety of work-relief programs during the Great Depression of the 1930s.


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 

Research Options

Related Research Guides & Webpages

Guide Author

Debbie Miller
Reference Librarian 

MNHS Reference Staff

reading room bookshelves


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