Historical Records Survey (WPA)
The Historical Records Survey was organized under the direction of Luther H Evans as part of the Federal Writer’s Project on 16 Nov 1935. It became an independent division of Federal Project 1 in October of 1936. In 1939 projects were handed off to state and local governments with oversight by the WPA’s Research and Records Program, Professional and Service Division.
Never eager to recreate what someone else has done well, I suggest you read Bryan Mulcahy’s for a good background of the Survey, a listing of its objectives and an overview of the records useful for genealogical research.
Some California materials are listed below. Most are online, click on any link to go to an online description or publication.
§ Published County Surveys.
§ Alameda (#1)
§ Los Angeles (#20)
§ San Bernardino (#37) (F)
§ San Diego (#38)
§ San Francisco (#39)
§ Santa Barbara (#43)
§ Ventura (#57)
§ Unpublished County Records Survey Materials
§ The California State Archives (Northern CA)
§ Los Angeles County Museum, Los Angeles, California (Southern California materials)
§ List of the Letters and Documents of Rulers and Statesmen in the William Andrews Clark Memorial Library (University of California at Los Angeles
§ Records of the San Francisco office of the Survey of Federal Archives, consisting of survey sheets
§ Records relating to the WPA Ships Registry Project for ships registered between 1850 and 1910 at the port of San Francisco
§ Records of Hope L. Cahill, director of the Division of Professional Service Projects, and state director, Division of Community Service Programs\.
§ Records of the Division of Professional and Service Projects, Northern California office, San Francisco, 1939-42 relating to programs, activities, and achievements. Included are records concerning:
§ Golden Gate International Exposition (Treasure Island, 1939)
§ “This Work Pays Your Community” Week
§ District Commissioner of the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The records include correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs and speeches.
§ Records of the Survey of Federal Archives, 1936-41. (See publications above)
§ Microfilm , Index to Reference Cards for Work Projects Administration Project Files, 1935-42(selected rolls)
§ NARA – Washington DC