The American Guide Series: American Culture Defined


The American Guide graphic

The American Guide Series is a collection of guidebooks written by authors working for the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP). The FWP was a unit of the Works Progress Administration that was part of Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s New Deal created during the Great Depression. Originally published between 1937 and 1942, the American Guide Series included guidebooks for each of the 48 states as well as the territories of Alaska and Puerto Rico and several cities, highways, and other regions that were deemed of interest. The American Guides were well received by the public, despite controversy over their source—the Federal Writers’ Project. These guides helped rejuvenate the economy and define American culture through the promotion of tourism in the United States. 

Exhibition Credits:

  • Katie Farr (Curator)
  • Jennifer Duncan (Curatorial Advisor)
  • Shay Larsen (Graphic Designer)
  • Darcy Pumphrey (Digital Team)
  • Alison Gardner (Digital Team)
  • Becky Thoms (Digital Team)
  • Malori Menck (Scanning Technician)