- Collection Overview
- Collection Description & Creator Information
- Access & Use
- Collection History
- Find Related Materials
- New Jersey Works Progress Administration
- Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
- New Jersey Works Progress Administration Records
- Public Policy Papers
- Permanent URL:
- 1896-1946, bulk 1936/1943
- 11 boxes
- Storage Note:
Mudd Library collections are unavailable until further notice due to a renovation. See our webpage for the most current information.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created by Executive Order on May 6, 1935. The goal of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) was to establish and maintain projects benefiting the public good in order to create work for citizens who were unemployed and on relief. The New Jersey Works Progress Administration Records document the history of the New Jersey Historical Records Survey, the Agricultural Administration Act, and the Indian Site Survey of New Jersey through forms, reports, photographs, and correspondence.
Collection Description & Creator Information
The New Jersey Works Progress Administration Records document the history of several of projects undertaken by the New Jersey WPA. They include the New Jersey Historical Records Survey, the Agricultural Administration Act, and the Indian Site Survey of New Jersey. Also included are reports that were collected in an attempt to preserve the history of New Jersey's municipal governments. Documents types include institutional forms completed by New Jersey records repositories, inventories of various manuscript collections held by Princeton, indices of minutes and town ordinances, and reports from the Indian Site survey project, which include both text and photographs, and the analysis of the 1937 Agricultural Administration Act.
Please see series descriptions in contents list for additional information about individual series.
- Collection Creator Biography:
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was created by Executive Order on May 6, 1935. It was renamed the Work Projects Administration in 1939 as it was consolidated into the Federal Works Agency. Congress ended the program in 1943. The WPA was perhaps the largest component of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal. The WPA was the largest employer in the country at its height. The goal of the Works Progress Administration was to establish and maintain projects benefiting the public good in order to create work for citizens who were unemployed and on relief. Many of the WPA's projects were related to infrastructure: highways, bridges, buildings, sewers, etc. However, the WPA also employed artists and funded programs that benefited culture and history. One such program was the Federal Writers' Project. The New Jersey Historical Records Survey was a component of the Federal Writers' Project. The stated aim of the Historical Records Survey was "the discovery, preservation, and listing of basic materials for research in the history of the United States." Though only operational for short time, this project collected and compiled marriage and death records, court dockets, indices of laws, board meeting minutes, and inventories of archival repositories from throughout New Jersey. In addition, the New Jersey WPA also conducted an analysis of the Agricultural Administration Act under the Historical Records Survey. The analysis included determining how much acreage of farm land was being used and what types of crops were being grown in New Jersey. The historical Records Survey produced reports on the findings. While not directly related to the Historical Records Survey, the New Jersey Indian Site Survey was another project undertaken by the New Jersey WPA. From 1936 through 1941, the New Jersey WPA, in association with the Archeological Society of New Jersey, conducted archeological digs at various sites in New Jersey. The goal was to catalog, document and preserve aspects of American Indian daily life and culture.
The New Jersey Works Progress Administration Records arrived at Princeton in two stages. The individual manuscript forms for the Princeton Collections were completed for Princeton as part of the Historical Records Survey in April through November 1936 . The Federal Works Agency in New Jersey transferred the remainder of the records to Princeton in 1943 for the purpose of safe keeping.
- Archival Appraisal Information:
Duplicates of reports were removed.
These papers were processed with an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.
- Processing Information:
This collection was processed by Casey Babcock in 2007. Finding aid written by Casey Babcock in 2007.
Access & Use
- Access Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
- Conditions for Reproduction and Use:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.
- Credit this material:
New Jersey Works Progress Administration Records; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library
- Permanent URL:
- Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library65 Olden StreetPrinceton, NJ 08540, USA(609) 258-6345
- Publication Note:
Material within the New Jersey Works Progress Administration Records provided the information for the descriptions. The New Jersey State Archives website provided some of the information in the history (please see: http://pdcbank.state.nj.us/state/darm/links/webcat/queries/fwpa.html) as did the National Archives and Records Administration record on the Works Progress Administration (please see: http://arcweb.archives.gov/arc/org_details.jsp?&psub=1155115&st=b).
- Subject Terms:
- Excavations (Archaeology) - New Jersey.
Indians of North America - New Jersey.
Municipal government - New Jersey.
- Genre Terms:
- Archaeological Society of New Jersey.
New Jersey Historical Records Survey Project
New Jersey Works Progress Administration