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  • Federal Writers' Project Collection

The Federal Writers' Project began in 1935 as part of the United States Work Progress Administration created under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal program. The Federal Writers' Project provided employment opportunities for historians, teachers, writers, librarians, and other white-collar workers. Initially the project produced guidebooks entitled American Guide on several regions of the country with an emphasis on the the country's scenic, historical, cultural, and economic resources. The Illinois Writers' Project, the state office for the Federal Writers' Project, produced state-wide guidebooks as well as regional publications which included work by Richard Wright, Saul Bellow, Margaret Walker, and Louis "Studs" Terkel.

The photographs contained in this collection include images of farm life in southern Illinois, Chicago architecture, Greek-American life in Chicago's Greektown, and historic buildings and architecture throughout the state. Photographer Nick John Matsoukas' images are featured in this collection and appear with their original photo captions.

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