American Women's History: A Research Guide
Depression & New Deal
Home Page | Last Update: 11/3/2002 | Suggestion Box

Please note that this section is in the initial stages of development.



Olson, James S., ed. Historical Dictionary of the New Deal: From Inauguration to Preparation for War. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1985. 611p.

Historical Overviews

Kennedy, David M. Freedom from Fear: The American People in Depression and War, 1929-1945. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999. 936p. Reviewed by Thomas E. Blantz for H-Pol, H-Net Reviews, June 1999. Available from:

Ware, Susan. Holding Their Own: American Women in the 1930s. Boston: Twayne, 1982. 223p.

Networking Tools: Discussion Lists / Research Centers

Center for New Deal Studies []

H-US1918-1945 []

Primary Sources: Archival Collections

Primary Sources: Digital Collections

America From the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from the FSA-OWI, 1935-1945 [online]. [Washington, D.C.]: Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress, 1998 [cited 19 September 2000]. Available from:

Black, Allida M., ed. The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers [online]. Washington, DC: The George Washington University, 2000- [cited 6 March 2002]. Available from:
See the Online Documents section for Roosevelt's thoughts on character development, government and the arts, old age pensions, and other topics.

By the People, For the People: Posters from the WPA, 1936-1943 [online]. [Washington, DC]: Prints & Photographs Division, Library of Congress, 2000 [cited 12 September 2000]. Available from:

Dublin, Thomas, and Kathryn Kish Sklar. Women and Social Movements in the United States, 1830-1930 [online]. 1997- [cited 4 May 2001]. Available from:
This collection of primary source documents is organized around numerous topical areas. Each of these different sections includes an introduction to provide context, and an annotated bibliography. The following sections cover the depression/New Deal period:

Little Cowpuncher: Rural School Newspaper of Southern Arizona [online]. Tucson, AZ: University of Arizona Library, 2000- [cited 20 February 2002]. Available from:
Little Cowpuncher, written and illustrated by Anglo and Mexican-American children, appeared from 1932 to 1943.

NARA Archival Information Locator [NAIL] [online]. Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration, [1997-1999]. Available from:
NAIL includes photographs that document many New Deal programs. Note that many records of photographs do not include women as a subject term. Therefore, try combining New Deal or Great Depression with such terms as women, woman, family, wife, or mother.

New Deal and the Arts Oral History Interviews Conducted by the Archives of American Art, 1963-1965 [online]. Washington, D.C.: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, updated 28 March 2000 [cited 20 December 2001]. Available from:

New Deal Network [online]. [New York]: Institute for Learning Technologies, Columbia University, 1999- [cited 10 December 2001]. Available from:

Oral History Digital Collection [online]. Youngstown, OH: William F. Maag Jr. Library, Youngstown State University, updated March 2002 [cited 25 June 2002]. Available from:
Select Depressions 1929 from the list of subject headings.

Robin Flies Again [online]. Available from:
Includes transcriptions of letters written by women of Goucher College, class of 1903. Many of the letters were written during the depression years.

Primary Sources: Microform

New Deal Agencies and Black America in the 1930s. Frederick, Md.: University Publications of America, 1983. 25 microfilm reels.
Overview from the publisher.

Records of the Women's Bureau of the U.S. Department of Labor, 1918-1965. Part I: Reports of the Director, Annual Summaries, Major Conferences, Speeches, and Articles. Frederick, Md : University Publications of America, 1987- .
The Subject Index to this collection only lists a total of 14 documents under "Depression, Great," and "New Deal." However, the Reel Index lists hundreds of articles/speeches from the 1930s.

Women's Studies Manuscript Collections from the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe College. Series 2: Women in National Politics. Part A: Democrats. Frederick, Md.: University Publications of America, 1992- .
Part of this collection documents Sue Shelton White's advocacy of woman's suffrage and her career as a New Deal administrator.

Talking About Women's History

Thompson, Kathleen, and Hilary Mac Austin. Children of the Depression [Lecture online]. Books and Beyond. Washington, DC: The Center for the Book, Library of Congress, 12 February 2002. Available from:
Thompson and Austin present an illustrated talk about their book Children of the Depression (Indiana University Press, 2001). Girls appear in many of the photographs that they describe.

American Women's History: A Research Guide

Ken Middleton
Middle Tennessee State Univ. Library
Murfreesboro, TN 37132