2 Replies Latest reply on Jun 25, 2020 11:05 AM by Jason Atkinson

    What were the WPA projects in Puerto Rico?


      The 1940 census shows My father worked for WPA in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. What kind of work would he have done?

        • Re: What were the WPA projects in Puerto Rico?
          LOC Manuscript Division Tracker

          Hello Milta Jensen:

          Thanks for using History Hub.

          The Library of Congress Manuscript Division holds a large collection of Records of the U.S. Work Projects Administration (USWPA) that dates from 1524 to 1947 (bulk 1935-1942) and consists of about 409,000 items in 1,580 containers.  The collection is comprised mostly of the records of the Federal Writers' Project and the Historical Records Survey, which were programs within the USWPA.  A finding aid describing the records is available through the Manuscript Division website.

          The finding aid indicates that files on Puerto Rico are located in box C-95, in the series “Research Library: State File, 1925-1944".  The box contains files on the “Agricultural and Industrial Research Bureau” and the “Emergency Relief Administration” which both apparently functioned within Puerto Rico in the mid-1930s.


          The USWPA records are shelved in the Library’s James Madison Memorial Building, and the contents of box C-95 have not been digitized or reproduced in any other formats.  Because of the pandemic, all Library of Congress buildings are closed to researchers and non-essential staff until further notice.  Our reference staff is working remotely, and unfortunately cannot get access to non-digitized original documents.  Further information on the Library’s response to the pandemic is available at https://www.loc.gov/about/pandemic-information/for-public/ .


          If you have questions about the files in USWPA box C-95, please contact the Manuscript Division directly, and our reference staff will assist you when the Library buildings reopen.


          Best wishes,


          Reference Staff/BK

          Manuscript Division

          Library of Congress

          1 person found this helpful
          • Re: What were the WPA projects in Puerto Rico?
            Jason Atkinson Guide

            Dear Ms. Jensen,


            Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


            There may be a personnel file for him in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis (RL-SL). To request copies of WPA personnel records, please complete an NA Form 14137 and mail it to National Archives & Records Administration ATTN: Archival Programs (RL-SL), P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138. If there is any information requested by the form that you do not know, you may leave the space blank or provide estimates, however the more information you provide, the easier it will be for RL-SL to locate the correct file. For more information, please see Official Personnel Folders (OPF), Archival Holdings and Access.


            Also, we searched the National Archives Catalog and located 17 series related to Puerto Rico in the Records of the Work Projects Administration (Record Group 69). Please email the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2) at Archives2reference@nara.gov for more information about these records.


            Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL and RDT2. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.


            We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!