MIT OpenCourseWare


The following links provide images and texts that supplement course readings and discussions. If you choose to use any of these resources in writing a research paper, please consult Online! Citation Styles by A. Harnack and E. Kleppinger.

New Deal Network: The Great Depression, the 1930s, and the Roosevelt Administration
Includes over 5000 images and 900 primary documents from the 1930s, with excellent features and projects.

America from the Great Depression to WWII: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945
The images in the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection are among the most famous documentary photographs ever produced. Created by a group of U.S. government photographers, the images show Americans in every part of the nation. In the early years, the project emphasized rural life and the negative impact of the Great Depression, farm mechanization, and the Dust Bowl. In later years, the photographers turned their attention to the mobilization effort for World War II.

Ad*Access, Duke University
Images and database information for over 7,000 advertisements printed in U.S. and Canadian newspapers and magazines between 1911 and 1955.

"Now What a Time": Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943
Approximately one hundred sound recordings, primarily blues and gospel songs, and related documentation from the folk festival at Fort Valley State College, Georgia. These recording projects were supported by the Library of Congress's Archive of American Folk Song.

Built in America: Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record, 1933-Present
The collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies including examples as diverse as windmills, one-room schoolhouses, the Golden Gate Bridge, and buildings designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. As of March 1998, America's built environment has been recorded through surveys containing more than 363,000 measured drawings, large-format photographs, and written histories for more than 35,000 historic structures and sites dating from the seventeenth to the twentieth century.

Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America: Photographs by Samuel Gottscho and William Schleisner , 1935-1955
Over 29,000 images primarily of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures. Subjects are concentrated chiefly in the northeastern United States, especially the New York City area, and Florida. Included are the homes of notable Americans, such as Raymond Loewy, and of several U.S. presidents, as well as color images of the 1939-40 New York World's Fair.

The New Deal Stage: Selections from the Federal Theater Project, 1935-1939
Over 13,000 images of items selected from the Federal Theatre Project Collection at the Library of Congress. Featured here are stage and costume designs, still photographs, posters, and scripts for productions of Macbeth and The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus as staged by Orson Welles, and for Power, a topical drama of the period (over 3,000 images). Also included are 68 other playscripts (6,500 images) and 168 documents selected from the Federal Theatre Project Administrative Records (3,700 images). The Federal Theatre Project was one of five arts-related projects established during the first term of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt under the Works Progress Administration (WPA).

Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection
Multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941. This collection consists of audio recordings, photographs, manuscript materials, publications, and ephemera generated during two separate documentation trips supported by the Archive of American Folk Song (now the Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center).

Woody Guthrie and the Archive of American Folk Song: Correspondence, 1940-1950
Letters between Woody Guthrie and staff of the Archive of American Folk Song at the Library of Congress. The letters were written primarily in the early 1940s, shortly after Guthrie had moved to New York City and met the Archive's assistant in charge, Alan Lomax. In New York Guthrie pursued broadcasting and recording careers, meeting a cadre of artists and social activists and gaining a reputation as a talented and influential songwriter and performer. His written and, occasionally, illustrated reflections on his past, his art, his life in New York City, and the looming Second World War provide unique insight into the artist best-known for his role as "Dust Bowl balladeer."

Photographs from the Golden Age of Jazz, 1938-1948
Over sixteen hundred photographs of celebrated jazz artists, primarily in New York City and Washington, D.C. Portraits of prominent jazz musicians and personalities, including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie, Earl Hines, Thelonious Monk, Stan Kenton, Ray McKinley, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Ella Fitzgerald, and Benny Carter.

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 - 1940
These life histories were written by the staff of the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers' Project for the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936-1940. The Library of Congress collection includes 2,900 documents representing the work of over 300 writers from 24 states. Typically 2,000-15,000 words in length, the documents consist of drafts and revisions, varying in form from narrative to dialogue to report to case history. The histories describe the informant's family education, income, occupation, political views, religion and mores, medical needs, diet and miscellaneous observations.

By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943
Silkscreen, lithograph, and woodcut posters designed to publicize health and safety programs; cultural programs including art exhibitions, theatrical, and musical performances; travel and tourism; educational programs; and community activities in seventeen states and the District of Columbia.

FDR Cartoon Archive
The collection, now stored in the research archives of the Roosevelt Presidential Library, consists mainly of newspaper clippings and approximately 30,000 political cartoons dating from 1932 to 1943.

Powers of Persuasion: Poster Art from World War II
Features 33 posters and 1 sound file from a more extensive exhibit that was presented in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, from May 1994 to February 1995.

"Normandy" by
Photos, documents, and films about D-Day and the invasion of Normandy.

A-Bomb: WWW Museum
Pictures, interviews, and documents relating to the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Atomic Bomb Decision: Documents on the Decision to Use Atomic Bombs on the Cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Documents on the decision to use the atomic bomb are reproduced here in full-text form. In most cases, the originals are in the U.S. National Archives. Other aspects of the decision are shown from accounts of the participants.

Leo Szilard Online
Information regarding the inventor of the atomic bomb.