One of the most interesting projects in the WPA, to me, is the State Guides series. A troop of writers and photographers were sent all around to all the states to document local history and what each village, hamlet, town and city was like at that point in time.
You can still buy THE WPA GUIDE TO 1930'S NEW JERSEY, from amazon.com for $25 used, and for many other states as well. It is a veritable treasure trove. Mine has two dozen page markers sticking out the side and it is riddled with highlighter markings and margin notes. I've found so many interesting places in it and so many interesting facts and observations about other places as well. When I was doing African American History for the Underground Railroad in SJ, a presentation I did costumed as an Abolitionist for several years for Camden Co. Hist. Society, I discovered Gouldtown and it engendered a whole mystery and research project which I wrote about in this blog - "Did she or didn't she?" regarding the controversy around Salem proprietor Fenwick's granddaughter and her African American husband..
One of the interesting things I read in the Guide was the difference between the 1st printing and the 2nd. The 1st talked about the Labor dispute at Seabrook Farms. It was intentionally left out of the 2nd printing, then explained in subsequent printings.
The book was so interesting, I wrote a novel based on it. My characters are a writer and a photographer traveling around SJ working on the State Guide.
I'll be presenting on the CCC in NJ at the Salem County Genealogical Society on December 10 at 7:00pm at Friends Village, Friends Drive in Woodstown, Nj and I'll be selling my book there that night, if you are interested. Also, if you'd like to buy the book, it is $10 (about what I paid to print it) and you can contact me by e-mail email@example.com
Part 3 in this series will talk about Dorothea Lange, Depression Era photographer, and NJ resident, as well as WPA worker.