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Inventory of S.C. Church Archives
A historical records survey known as the Inventory of Church Archives was completed by W.P.A. workers between 1937 and 1939. The original survey sheets are held in the Manuscripts Division of the South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia. Inventory of Church Archives survey sheets are available for forty-two of South Carolina’s forty-six counties. Surveys for Chester, Edgefield, Fairfield, and Georgetown are not extant. The questionnaires provided the means by which information was systematically gathered on African-American and white churches in both rural and urban areas, including address, date organized, building description, construction date, and, of primary importance, listings of any known church records.
WPA Federal Writers' Project Materials on African American Life in South Carolina
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) launched the Federal Writers’ Project to employ white-collar workers left jobless by the Great Depression and to create a comprehensive guide to the states, cities, and regions of the United States. The Federal Writers’ Project gathered information on American life and interviews with “ordinary” Americans from a wide variety of backgrounds. The bulk of interviews, articles, and notes contained in this collection paint a portrait of African-American life in South Carolina. These interviews with former slaves, notes on folklore, and articles on prominent African Americans and African-American organizations were compiled at the height of the Project in 1936 and 1937. Though they are products of their times, these materials provide us with one of the richest sources of information on African-American life in South Carolina at the time.
WPA Photograph Collection
This collection of photographs documents cities, towns, farms, lifestyles, landscapes, and other aspects of South Carolina life. Under the direction of Mabel Montgomery and Louise Jones DuBose, these photographs were produced and collected by the South Carolina Writer’s Project (SCWP) from 1936 to 1940. SCWP was part of the Writers’ Program of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), created in 1935 to create, among other things, a comprehensive guide to the states, cities, and regions of the United States. South Carolina: A Guide to the Palmetto State was published in 1941 and included many of the photographs in this collection. SCWP also published several other books on South Carolina, which used some of the images.
WPA Week in National Defense
Issued in 1941, The WPA Week in National Defense presented brief news items concerning the Work Projects Administration’s activities throughout the United States. Formerly the Works Progress Administration, this agency provided jobs in construction, adult education, writing, and art. The WPA Week described products of this work leading up to the second World War. The circulars cover subjects such as the building of armories and air bases, mosquito control at military camps, renovation of water and natural gas supply systems, mural painting, and recreation.