Have a question? Need assistance? Use our online form to ask a librarian for help.
Chat with a librarian, Monday through Friday, 12-4pm Eastern Time (except Federal Holidays).
Laura Gottesman, Reference Specialist, Researcher and Reference Services Division
Created: April 8, 2019
Last Updated: March 23, 2020
The Library of Congress has digitized primary source materials from its collections documenting life in the United States from the beginning of the Great Depression (c.1929), through the New Deal period and economic recovery (c.1933-39), and the country's preparation for and entry into World War II (1939-1945).
This guide highlights collections of books, historical newspapers, images, interviews and recordings, among other formats documenting this period. It offers tips and strategies to find additional resources through searching the Library's digital collections more broadly by format. This guide also provides links to information on the Library's website related to key events from this time in U.S. history—the stock market crash and its economic reverberations throughout the country; the impact of the Dust Bowl on the economy and lives of rural communities; and, the federal government's response to these challenges. These responses included work relief in its many forms and the blossoming of cultural documentation projects, produced by the Work Projects Administration (WPA), the Farm Security Administration (FSA) and other New Deal agencies, in which the Library's holdings are particularly rich.
The gallery below highlights images from the time period, including photographs and posters from the Prints & Photographs Division at the Library of Congress.