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Photograph of Nevada Guide Exhibit (Federal Writers Project), Nevada State Fair, ca. 1938

Sandwiched between exhibits of homemade jam and local produce, the Federal Writers’ Project advertised its American Guide series at the 1938 Nevada State Fair. The Women’s and Professional Division of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) featured the series in its booth, making the guide to Nevada the centerpiece of its display.

Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress

Photograph of Nevada Guide Exhibit (Federal Writers Project), Nevada State Fair, ca. 1938

The Federal Writers' Project

Congress created the Federal Writers’ Project in 1935 under the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a New Deal agency that employed millions of Americans on public-works projects during the Great Depression. Active until 1943, the Federal Writers’ Project enlisted more than 6,000 writers, historians, and other scholars in producing useful publications. Its American Guide series highlighted historical, cultural and geographical features of U.S. states, territories and cities. The Federal Writers’ Project also compiled oral histories that, like the American Guides, remain valuable resources for studying the nation’s past.