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Tag: WPA

Artists at work in the National Archives

We’ve got lots of artists in the building today. If you visit the National Archives Building from December 2 to 6, you can partake of history and do your Christmas shopping and support local artists and support the programs of the National Archives!

The holiday fair is officially titled “The Way We Worked” American Artisans Fair. Local area artists were invited to participate. Chris DerDerian, the manager of the National Archives Shop, was inspired by the New Deal programs that put artists to work during the Great Depression. Between 1935 and 1943, citizens held 8 million jobs through the Works Progress Administration (WPA). While the WPA administered large projects like the creation of roads, it also administered projects in the arts.

“This first annual fair is to encourage visitors to the National Archives to support the work of today’s American artisans as they shop for meaningful contemporary gifts celebrating American history this holiday season,” DerDerian said.

I was curious about what exactly artists were hired to do during the 1930s, so I did a quick search in our Online Public Access database and discovered this delightful piece of administrative reporting from 1940: Report of WPA Activities of the Golden Gate International Exposition.

If you think a report cannot be delightful, you are wrong. This report is made up of fascinating pictures and charming captions (at one … [ Read all ]

Thursday Caption Contest

Congratulations to LisaLou! Your caption tugged the entrepreneurial heartstrings of guest judge Suzanne Isaacs, who makes sure all the great images we use are available to the public in ARC.

Check your e-mail for 15% off in the eStore!

This photo was suggested to us by Laura of the Foundation for the National Archives. She thought it had a very Tennessee Williams feel to it.

But it’s not a set—as our winner suspected, it’s a mobile library with a slightly poignant story: “Charlestown, Indiana. Education, Library Services. The Public Library in Charlestown, Indiana was constructed out of work shanties by Works Progress Administration (WPA) workers in the early days of the Charlestown boom and is staffed by Works Progress Administration librarians. It has between three thousand and four thousand books and there is a demand for more technical texts on chemistry, steam fitting, mechanical drawing, mathematics and carpentry. The library is well partonized by the newcomers and townsfolk alike; the demand for fiction is less than was expected. Indiana University has announced extension courses for Charlestown this Fall in business, education, American and Latin-American history, English, elementary Spanish, mathematics, and psychology.” (ARC Identifier 518271)

There are no books in this week’s image, but there is definitely a story behind the pair in this photo! Tell us what it is in the caption below…… [ Read all ]