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Great Depression & New Deal Resources from the State of Oklahoma and Federal Government: Home

This guide presents federal government and State of Oklahoma resources on the US Great Depression and New Deal

Great Depression & WPA Resources in Government Documents

The University of Oklahoma Government Documents Collection was established in 1893, and contains most items disseminated through the Federal Depository Program from that date to present. Up until 2016, the Collection contained some 2.9 million items, including 5 miles of shelves of books, which was enough to reach from the Library out to the Canadian River. In 2016 the Library began a deselecting process, and as of 2018 the collection contains 1.8 million items. The Collection also allows access to the most current electronic fulltext government resources and databases, which include many historical materials, but certainly not all.  

The Great Depression was a severe economic downturn in the American economy from 1929-1939. The OU Government Documents Collections will have many resources applicable to this field of research. There are a number of ways to access this material. There are databases and online documents available, but there are also many paper items which are not available online.   

Make an appointment with the Government Documents Librarian for additional assistance on Great Depression research. 

OU Union, 1936 WPA Project

CRS Reports

The ProQuest Congressional Database contains a selection of Congressional Research Service (CRS) reports, 1916-present. As the "think tank" of Congress, the CRS has published many useful overviews of the Great Depression & WPA. A few examples follow:

Brief Chronology of the Development of Federal Social Insurance Assistance, and Rehabilitation Programs in the US (1968)

Norman Abe Andrews Park, New Deal Structures from 1937


Federal Resources



Library of Congress Resources on the Great Depression/WPA:

National Archives Resources on the Works Program Administration:

Congressional Resources on the Great Depression/WPA:

71st (1929-1931) - 76th (1939-1941) Congresses:

Consult ProQuest Congressional Database:

This database has many fulltext documents back to 1789.

For the Great Depression, here are just a few examples of the fulltext titles available:

Effect of business depression on agriculture (1930)

Monthly Labor Review (1931)

State of Oklahoma Resources

The State of Oklahoma Depository Program did not begin until 1976, so there are few Great Depression/WPA era items in the Oklahoma Documents Collection.

State of Oklahoma Webpage:

Oklahoma History Center:

Oklahoma State Preservation Office:

The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture:

1987 Document from OSU for the Oklahoma Preservation Center about WPA structures to possibly be included in the National Register. Page 32 has a list of 'current' Cleveland County WPA sites still in existence, and page 93 has a list of the Cleveland County sites that are now "Not Found."​

Subject Guide

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Jeffrey Wilhite
(405) 325-1831

Depression era Federal Agencies

Federal Housing Authority, 1935-1942 (call number FL 2.2:)

Federal Home Loan Bank Board, 1935-1942 (call number FL 3.1:)

National Youth Administration, 1939-1942 (call number FS 6:)

Works Projects Administration, 1935-1943 (call number FW 4:)

Public Works Administration, 1937-1943 (call number FW 5.1:)

Federal Emergency Administration of Public Works, 1933-1939 (call number Y3.F 31/4:)

Federal Emergency Relief Administration, 1933-1938 (call number Y3.F 31/5:)


As of 2018, all paper & microfiche Government Documents are now housed at the LSC Storage, on HW 9. To view any of the physical document resources, you now must have the items paged via Sooner Xpress request, found here:

Paper book

Paper Federal Items

Here is a selection of paper titles available in the Collection:

A Survey of Apartment Dwelling Operating Experience in Large American Cities, 1940 (FL 2.2: Ap 1)

Health Status of National Youth Administration Youth, 1942 (FS 6.2: H 34)

What and Why is the USHA? (FW 3.2: W 55)

Final Statical Report of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration, 1941 (FW 4.2: F 1)

Federal Work, Security, and Relief Programs, 1941 (FW 4.35: 24)

FWA WPA for Oklahoma, Operating Procedures, 1940 (FW 4.6: Ok 4)

The Story of Public Works Administration in Pictures, 1935 (Y 3/F 31/4: 2 P 96/2-3)

Statistical Summary of Emergency Relief Activities Federal Emergency Relief Administration, 1933-1935 (Y3.F 31/5: 8 933-935)


As of 2018, all paper & microfiche Government Documents are now housed at the LSC Storage, on HW 9. To view any of the physical document resources, you now must have the items paged via Sooner Xpress request, found here: