Tuesday, 8 July 2008

WPA Historical Records Survey digitization project

Yesterday there was an interesting post on the govdocs listserv about a potential digitization project at the University of Missouri. Their library has been given what appears to be a complete set of WPA Historical Records Survey books. Originally part of the WPA Federal Writers' Project, the Historical Records Survey was devoted to inventorying and indexing historically significant record collections in state, county and local archives. Among their accomplishments were indexes of vital statistics, book indexes, bibliographies, cemetery indexes and newspaper indexes, the American Imprints Inventory, the Atlas of Congressional Roll Calls Project, a historical index of American musicians, surveys of portraits in public buildings, maritime records, a history of grazing, a food history project called America Eats, and a necessary survey of the federal Archives. According to the Government Documents Librarian, the strength of the work is in the wonderfully detailed annotations which accompany each individually listed record set.
The University librarians are considering digitizing the complete collection (all states) for the University of Missouri Digital Library . They are soliciting any information about whether this collection has already been digitized and made freely available online to help them with this decision.

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