W.P.A. Georgia Writers Project life stories

W.P.A. Georgia Writers Project life stories

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Hargrett Library
Creator: Hargrett Library.
Title: W.P.A. Georgia Writers Project life stories
Dates: 1939-1940
Quantity: 1.2 Linear feet 3 document boxes
Coll. Number: ms2872

Biographical/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 http://www.britannica.com (Retrieved September 23, 2009)

Scope and Content Note

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.


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.

Index Terms

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

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation note

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

Related Material

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
1Principal of Grammar School
See also Principal of Grammar School Thirty Three Years in Ms 1500, 63:1
1A Good Investment
2Negro Life on a Farm
See also Negro Life on a Farm in Ms 1500, 63:2
2I Ain't No Midwife
2I'se a Fast 'Oman
See also I'se a Fast 'Oman in Ms 1500, 63:2
3Bea, The Washwoman
See also Bea, The Washwoman in Ms 1500, 63:3
4Mr. Richard
See also The Fishermen in Ms 1500, 64:1
4Making the Best Of It
See also Making the Best Of It in Ms 1500, 64:1
4Mildred Lawson
See also Mildred Lawson in Ms 1500, 64:1
4It Wasn't So Easy
See also It Wasn't So Easy in Ms 1500, 64:1
5The Man Who Out Thought the Other Fellow
See also The Man Who Out Thought the Other Fellow in Ms 1500, 64:2
5A Visit with Aunt Joe
See also A Visit with Aunt Jerry in Ms 1500, 64:2
5Life During Confederate Days
See also Life During Confederate Days in Ms 1500, 64:2
5A Air-Minded Family
See also A Air-Minded Family in Ms 1500, 64:2
5I Am Reaping in Tears
See also I Am Reaping in Tears What I Sowed in Fun in Ms 1500, 64:2
6New Way Dry Cleaning and Laundry
See also A Visit to a Laundry and Dry Cleaning Plant in Ms 1500, 64:3
5A Day in a Store
See also Day in a Department Store in Ms 1500, 64:3
6The Depression Was a Republican Trick
See also The Depression Was a Republican Trick in Ms 1500, 64:3
6A Visit to a Flower Shop
See also Woman Florist in Ms 1500, 64:3
6Mrs. Whelchel
See also untitled story in Ms 1500, 64:3
6The More Modest Among Us
See also The More Modest Among Us in Ms 1500, 64:3
6The Unwelcome Caller
See also The Unwelcome Caller in Ms 1500, 64:3
6God Helped Us
See also God Helped Us in Ms 1500, 64:3
6Bargain House
6Edward Walcott
See also Edward Walcott in Ms 1500, 64:3
6Cosmetics and Coal
See also Cosmetics and Coal in Ms 1500, 64:3
7I Want to Die in Peace
See also I Want to Die in Peace in Ms 1500, 64:4
7Mrs. Leila Bramblett
See also Life on 'Happy Top' in Ms 1500, 64:4
7Honesty and Fairness to the Bitter End
See also Honesty and Fairness to the Bitter End in Ms 1500, 64:4
7The Successful Farmer
See also The Successful Farmer in Ms 1500, 64:4
7The Sunshine Lady
See also The Sunshine Lady in Ms 1500, 64:4
7I'm Planning to Make a Come Back
See also I'm Planning to Make a Come Back in Ms 1500, 64:4
7A Farming Preacher-Prophet
See also A Farming Preacher-Prophet in Ms 1500, 64:4
8Reminiscences and Recollections
8Ernest Gerber
8The Poppy Lady
8Reminiscence of a Negro Preacher
8Hopes 'At Somebody Will Come Along
8The Capital City Insurance
9My Ups and Downs
9Mrs. Marguerite R. Thomas
9Cindy Wright
9Mrs. Janie Bradberry Harris
9Mr. Trout
9Mr. Doolittle
21Turnips Today, Turnips Tomorrow., 1939
1Life History- revised version of "Guess We Had Moving Fever", 1938
1From Around the World to a Georgia Farm, 1939
2Julie Nickerson, 1939
2The Piano Salesman, 1939
2Papa, 1939
3The Relief Lady, 1939
3Right Livin', 1939
3Reverses, 1939
3It Wasn't So Easy (duplicate), 1939
3A Visit to the Country, 1939
3I've Took in Sewing Fifty Years, 1939
3Life of a Retired Mill Worker, 1939
3I Ain't No Midwife, 1939
4I Maids for the Co-Eds, 1939
4I Don't Know What's the Matter, 1939
4The Wandering Beautician, 1939
4Life History of Mrs. Ann Waldrop, 1939
5A Visit to the Jail, 1939
5Life on "Happy Top", 1939
5Principal of Grammar School Thirty-three Years, 1939
5The Carpenter of Lickskillet, 1939
5Bea, the Washerwoman (duplicate), 1939
5A Visit to a Laundry and Dry Cleaning Plant, 1939
6From Farm to Filling Station, 1939
6Kay's Shop, 1939
6The Poppy Lady (duplicate), 1939
6The Three Sisters, 1939
6Edward Walcott, 1939
7I Cater to Colored People, 1939
7I've Been Drifting, 1939
7I've Been Preaching Ever Since I Could Talk, 1939
7The Wrighton Sisters, 1939
8How Many Days Have I Regretted, 1939
8Maybe We'll Save a Little Money, 1939
8Grocery Store, 1939
8A WPA Worker, 1939
8The Barbecue Stand, 1939
8The Poro Beauty Shoppe, 1939
9The Red, White, and Blue Barber Shop, 1939
9An Air-Minded Family, 1939
9Mildred Lawson (duplicate), 1939
9A Negro Insurance Executive, 1939
9The Life of a Lawyer, 1939
9I Got My Education the Hard Way, 1939
9And Hopes that Somebody Will Come Along to Talk To, 1939
10Day in a Department Store, 1939
10A Farming Preacher- Prophet, 1939
10Mammy, 1939
10A Visit with Aunt Jerry, 1939
10A Session of the City Court, 1939
10Negro Fraternal Insurance, 1939
11A Versatile Craftswoman, 1939
11Coffins and Caskets, 1939
11The Tale of a Tailoress, 1939
11Maid of All Work, 1939
11A Negro Dentist, 1939
12I Lak's a Good Living, 1939
12All I Do is Just Heads, 1939
12The Oldest Barber in Town, 1939
12The Woman Dentist, 1939
12Waiting Room in a Bus Station, 1939
12The City Blacksmith, 1939
12The Bargain House, 1939
12The Lilac Beauty Shop, 1939
13The Boarding House Operator, 1939
13The Capital City Insurance Company, 1939
13You Have to Get It While They're Crying, 1939
13A Patent Medicine Vendor, 1939
13Cindy Wright, 1939
13A Visit to a Flower Shop, 1939
31A Negro Funeral Director, 1939
1Yes Lord, I've Done Tried to Serve You Faithful, 1939
1Old Shoe Comfort in New Shoe Appearance, 1939
1A Custome is Always Right, 1939
1Veterinarian, Poet, and Politician, 1939
2I Like America, 1939
2Madame Lucy, 1939
2Susie Ray, 1939
2The Fisherman, 1939
2Woman Florist, 1939
3Wood Engraver in Paradise, 1939
3Guess We Had Moving Fever (duplicate), 1939
3Clairvoyant, 1939
3Life History of a Saleslady, 1939
3Janice (duplicate), 1939
3Untitled, 1939
3So We Can Have Things Like Other Folks, 1939
3Life History of Negro Housemaid, 1939
3Homer L. Pike, 1939
4Nightwatchman, 1939
4Life History (duplicate), 1939
4Maurice Russell, 1939
4Laundryman, 1939
4Root Doctor, 1939
4I Managed to Carry On, 1939
5I's Still Traveling 'Cause I Got Faith in God, 1939
5Teacher- Social Worker, 1939
5Unable to Stage a Comeback, 1939
5The Voice of God Spoke to Me, 1939
5The 'Lil Black Girl, 1939
5The Lord Was With Us, 1939
5I's Always Had a Hard Time, 1939
6The Family of an Automobile Worker, 1939
6The Story of Selina W., 1939
6Papa (duplicate), 1939
6Let Me Live!, 1939
6Nannie Hawkins, 1939
6{Pine Mountain Valley], 1939
6Not a Life Story, 1939