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American Guide Series

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cover of the Illinois state guide

The American Guide Series is a group of books and pamphlets published from 1937 to 1941 under the auspices of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP), a Depression-era works program in the United States. The American Guide Series books were compiled by the FWP, but printed by individual states, and contained detailed histories of each of the then 48 states of the Union with descriptions of every major city and town. In total, the project employed over 6,000 writers. The format was uniform, comprising essays on the state's history and culture, descriptions of its major cities, automobile tours of important attractions, and a portfolio of photographs.[1]

Many books in the project have been updated by private companies or republished without updating. Although not then a state, a guide for Alaska[2] was published, and also for Puerto Rico (but not for Hawaii).

John Steinbeck wrote in Travels with Charley: "If there had been room in Rocinante I would have packed the W.P.A. Guides to the States, all forty-eight volumes of them...The complete set comprises the most comprehensive account of the United States ever got together, and nothing since has approached it."[3]



State Title Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
Alabama Alabama; a Guide to the Deep South, New York: Hastings House, 1941 Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
Arizona Arizona, the Grand Canyon State (4th ed.). New York: Hastings House. 1956. 1940 ed. via Google Books HathiTrust
Arkansas Arkansas: a Guide to the State, New York, 1941, OCLC 478887 Google Books HathiTrust
California California: Guide to the Golden State, New York: Hastings House, 1939 Internet Archive
Colorado Colorado: a Guide to the Highest State. New York: Hastings House. 1945. 1941 ed. via Google Books Internet Archive
+ 1970 ed. via Internet Archive
Connecticut Connecticut: a Guide to its Roads, Lore, and People. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1938. Google Books HathiTrust
Delaware Delaware: A Guide to the First State. NY: Viking Press. 1938. Google Books HathiTrust
Florida Florida: A Guide to the Southernmost State, 1939 Google Books Internet Archive
Georgia Georgia: a Guide to Its Towns and Countryside. Athens: University of Georgia Press. 1940. Google Books Internet Archive
Idaho Idaho: A Guide in Word and Pictures. Caldwell, ID: Caxton Printers. 1937. Internet Archive
Illinois Illinois: A Descriptive and Historical Guide. Chicago: A.C. McClurg & Co. 1939. Google Books Internet Archive
Indiana Indiana: a Guide to the Hoosier State. New York: Oxford University Press. 1941. Google Books HathiTrust
Iowa Iowa: a Guide to the Hawkeye State, New York: Viking, 1938 Google Books HathiTrust
Kansas Kansas: A Guide to the Sunflower State, 1939. Google Books HathiTrust
Kentucky Kentucky: a Guide to the Bluegrass State. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company. 1939. Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
Louisiana Louisiana: a Guide to the State. NY: Hastings House. 1941. Google Books HathiTrust
Maine Maine: a Guide 'Down East'. Boston: Houghton Mifllin. 1937. Google Books HathiTrust
Maryland Maryland: a Guide to the Old Line State. New York: Oxford University Press. 1940. Google Books HathiTrust
Massachusetts Massachusetts: a Guide to its Places and People, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1937 Google Books HathiTrust
Michigan Michigan: a Guide to the Wolverine State. New York: Oxford University Press. 1941. Google Books
Minnesota A State Guide, 1938 Google Books Internet Archive
Mississippi Mississippi; a Guide to the Magnolia State, New York: Viking, 1949, OCLC 478887 1938 ed. via Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
Missouri Missouri: A Guide to the 'Show Me' State, New York: Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1941 Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
Montana Montana: a State Guide Book. NY: Viking Press. 1939. HathiTrust Internet Archive
Nebraska Nebraska: A Guide to the Cornhusker State, 1939 Google Books HathiTrust
Nevada Nevada: a Guide to the Silver State, Portland, Oregon: Binfords & Mort, 1957 1940 ed. via Google Books HathiTrust
New Hampshire New Hampshire: a Guide to the Granite State. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. 1938. Google Books HathiTrust
New Jersey New Jersey: a Guide to its Present and Past. NY: Hastings House. 1946. 1939 ed. via Google Books HathiTrust
New Mexico New Mexico: a Guide to the Colorful State. NY: Hastings House. 1940. Google Books HathiTrust
New York New York: a Guide to the Empire State. New York: Oxford University Press. 1940. HathiTrust
North Carolina North Carolina: a Guide to the Old North State. 1939. Google Books Internet Archive
North Dakota North Dakota: a Guide to the Northern Prairie State, State Historical Society of North Dakota, 1938 Google Books
Ohio The Ohio Guide, Oxford University Press, 1940 Google Books Internet Archive
Oklahoma Oklahoma: a Guide to the Sooner State, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1941 Google Books Internet Archive
Oregon Oregon: End of the Trail. Portland: Binfords & Mort. 1951. 1940 ed. via Google Books HathiTrust
Pennsylvania Pennsylvania: a Guide to the Keystone State, New York: Oxford University Press, 1940 Google Books
Rhode Island Rhode Island: A Guide to the Smallest State. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1937. OCLC 691847. Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
South Carolina South Carolina: a Guide to the Palmetto State, Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1941 HathiTrust Internet Archive
South Dakota South Dakota Guide. 1938. Google Books Internet Archive
Tennessee Tennessee: a Guide to the State, New York: Viking, 1939 Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
Texas Texas: A Guide to the Lone Star State, New York: Hastings House, 1940 Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
Utah Utah: A Guide to the State, 1941 Google Books HathiTrust
Vermont Vermont: a Guide to the Green Mountain State. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Riverside Press. 1937. Internet Archive
Virginia Virginia: a Guide to the Old Dominion, Oxford University Press, 1941 Google Books Internet Archive
Washington Washington: a Guide to the Evergreen State, Portland, Oregon: Binfords & Mort, 1941, OCLC 5847836 Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
West Virginia West Virginia: A Guide to the Mountain State. New York: Oxford University Press. 1941. Google Books
Google Books
Wisconsin Wisconsin: A Guide to the Badger State, 1941 Google Books HathiTrust
Wyoming Wyoming: a Guide to Its History, Highways and People, 1941 Google Books


State City Title Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive Other
Arkansas North Little Rock Guide to North Little Rock. 1936. OCLC 11575040. Hathi
California Los Angeles Los Angeles: A Guide to the City and Its Environs. 1941. HathiTrust Internet Archive
California San Diego San Diego: A California City. 1937. HathiTrust
California San Francisco San Francisco: the Bay and its Cities. 1940. 1947 ed. via HathiTrust Internet Archive
California Santa Barbara Santa Barbara: A Guide to the Channel City and its Environs. 1941. Internet Archive
Delaware Newcastle New Castle on the Delaware. 1936. HathiTrust
District of Columbia Washington Washington, City and Capital. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office. 1937. HathiTrust
Florida Key West A Guide to Key West. 1941. HathiTrust
Florida Miami Planning Your Vacation in Florida; Miami and Dade County including Miami Beach and Coral Gables. 1941. Internet Archive
Florida St Augustine Seeing St. Augustine. 1937. HathiTrust
Georgia Atlanta Atlanta: Capital of the South. 1949. Internet Archive
Georgia Augusta Augusta. 1938. OCLC 1411325. HathiTrust
Georgia Savannah Savannah. 1937. HathiTrust
Illinois Cairo Cairo Guide. HathiTrust
Illinois Galena HathiTrust
Illinois Princeton HathiTrust
Iowa Dubuque[4] A Guide to Dubuque HathiTrust
Iowa Estherville A Guide to Estherville, Iowa. 1939. HathiTrust
Iowa McGregor A Guide to McGregor. 1940.
Kentucky Henderson Henderson: A Guide to Audubon's Home Town in Kentucky. 1941.
Kentucky Lexington Lexington and the Bluegrass Country. 1938. HathiTrust
Kentucky Louisville Louisville: A Guide to Falls City. 1940.
Louisiana New Orleans New Orleans City Guide. 1938. Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive
Maine Portland Portland City Guide. 1940. Internet Archive
Nebraska Lincoln Lincoln City Guide. 1937.
New Jersey Princeton Princeton and its Neighbors.[4]
New York Albany HathiTrust
New York New York City The New York City Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to the Five Boroughs of the Metropolis; Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Richmond. 1939. HathiTrust Internet Archive
New York Rochester[4] Rochester and Monroe County. 1937. Internet Archive
North Dakota Bismarck[4]
Ohio Cincinnati Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City and Its Neighbors. 1943. HathiTrust
Oklahoma Tulsa Tulsa: A Guide to the Oil Capital. 1938.
Pennsylvania Erie Erie: A Guide to the City and County. 1938. HathiTrust Internet Archive
Pennsylvania Philadelphia Philadelphia: A Guide to the Nation's Birthplace. Internet Archive
Texas Beaumont Beaumont: A Guide to the City and Its Environs. 1939. OCLC 1386509.
Texas Denison[4]
Texas Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, a History and Guide. Corpus Christi Caller-Times. 1942. OCLC 2674098.
Texas Houston Houston, a History and Guide. 1942. University of North Texas
Texas San Antonio San Antonio: A History and Guide. HathiTrust
Wisconsin Portage HathiTrust

Regions and territories

Mount Hood: A Guide (1940)
Region Locale Title Google Books HathiTrust Internet Archive Other
Northeast Bergen County Panorama. 1941. Internet Archive
Northeast Berkshire Hills The Berkshire Hills. 1939. HathiTrust
Northeast Cape Cod Cape Cod Pilot: A Loquacious Guide. 1937.
West Death Valley Death Valley: A Guide. 1939.
West Ghost Towns of Colorado. 1947.
West Guide to Alaska: Last American Frontier. 1939. Google Books
Midwest Guide to Cedar Rapids and Northwest Iowa. 1937.
Northeast New England Here's New England! A Guide to Vacationland. 1939.
South Intracoastal Waterway, Norfolk to Key West. 1937. HathiTrust
Midwest Arrowhead Country Minnesota Arrowhead Country. 1941.
South Mississippi Gulf Coast: Yesterday and Today, 1699-1939. 1939. HathiTrust
West Monterey Peninsula Monterey Peninsula. 1941. HathiTrust
West Mount Hood Mound Hood: A Guide. 1940. Google Books
Northeast New York Panorama. 1938. Internet Archive
South Ocean Highway The Ocean Highway: New Brunswick, New Jersey to Jacksonville, Florida. 1938.
Midwest; West Oregon Trail, US 30: The Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean. 1939. Google Books
Puerto Rico Puerto Rico: a Guide to the Island of Boriquén. New York: University Society. 1940. OCLC 245805. HathiTrust Internet Archive
Northeast; South U.S. Route 1 U.S. One: Maine to Florida. 1938. HathiTrust


  1. ^ "The American Guide Series" United States Senate. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
  2. ^ The WPA Guide to Alaska: The Last Frontier State. Trinity University Press. 31 October 2013.
  3. ^ DeMasi, Susan Rubenstein (2016). Henry Alsberg : the driving force of the New Deal Federal Writers' Project. Jefferson, North Carolina. p. 179. ISBN 978-0-7864-9535-1. OCLC 956984803.
  4. ^ a b c d e Federal Writers' Project (1938). Catalog: American Guide Series. Washington DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. hdl:2027/mdp.39015033903686.

Further reading

External links

This page was last edited on 13 January 2022, at 18:25
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