American Guide Series
The American Guide Series was a group of books and pamphlets published in 1937-1941 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.
Many books in the project have been updated by private companies or republished without updating. Hawaii was not a U.S. state during the WPA period and thus was not covered by the project.
Titles in the American Guide Series
- New Castle on the Delaware, 1936. Newcastle, Delaware
- Washington, City and Capital, 1937. Washington DC
- Philadelphia: A Guide to the Nation's Birthplace, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- Erie: A Guide to the City and County, 1938. Erie, Pennsylvania
- Lincoln City Guide, 1937. Lincoln, Nebraska
- Augusta, 1938. Augusta, Georgia
- New Orleans City Guide, 2008. New Orleans, Louisiana
- Lexington and the Bluegrass Country, 1938. Lexington, Kentucky
- Beaumont: A Guide to the City and Its Environs, 1939. Beaumont, Texas
- A Guide to Estherville, Iowa, 1939. Estherville, Iowa
- The New York City Guide: A Comprehensive Guide to the Five Boroughs of the Metropolis;Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Richmond, 1939. New York City
- Louisville: A Guide to Falls City, 1940. Louisville, Kentucky
- A Guide to McGregor, 1940. McGregor, Iowa
- Portland City Guide, 1940. Portland, Maine
- A Guide to Key West, 1941. Key West, Florida
- Henderson: A Guide to Audubon's Home Town in Kentucky, 1941. Henderson, Kentucky
- San Antonio: A History and Guide, San Antonio, Texas
- Houston, a history and guide, 1942. Houston, Texas
- Cincinnati: A Guide to the Queen City and Its Neighbors, 1943. Cincinnati, Ohio
- Atlanta: Capital of the South, 1949. Atlanta, Georgia
- San Diego: A California City, 1937. San Diego
- San Francisco: The Bay and Its Cities, 1940. San Francisco
- Los Angeles: A Guide to the City and Its Environs, 1941. Los Angeles
- Santa Barbara: A Guide to the Channel City and its Environs, 1941. Santa Barbara
- Tulsa: A Guide to the Oil Capital, 1938. Tulsa, Oklahoma
- St. Augustine: Seeing St. Augustine, 1937 St Augustine, Florida
- Planning Your Vacation in Florida; Miami and Dade County including Miami Beach and Coral Gables, 1941 Miami
Regions and territories
- Bergen County Panorama, 1941.
- The Berkshire Hills, 1939.
- Cape Cod Pilot: A Loquacious Guide, 1937.
- Guide to Cedar Rapids and Northwest Iowa, 1937.
- New York Panorama, 1938.
- The Ocean Highway: New Brunswick, New Jersey to Jacksonville, Florida, 1938.
- U.S. One: Maine to Florida, 1938.
- A Guide to Alaska: Last American Frontier, 1939.
- Death Valley: A Guide, 1939.
- Here's New England! A Guide to Vacationland, 1939
- The Oregon Trail, US 30: The Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean, 1939.
- Puerto Rico: A Guide to the Island of Boriquen, 1940.
- Monterey Peninsula, 1941.
- The Minnesota Arrowhead Country, 1941.
- Ghost Towns of Colorado, 1947.
- Gross, Andrew S. "The American Guide Series: Patriotism as Brand-Name Identification" Arizona Quarterly: A Journal of American Literature, Culture, and Theory. Vol 62 Number 1. p. 85-111.
- Powell, Lawrence N. "Lyle Saxon and the WPA Guide to New Orleans." Southern Spaces 29 July 2009.
- "The American Guide Series" United States Senate. Retrieved 27 October 2013.
- Christine Bold (1999), The WPA Guides: Mapping America, Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, ISBN 1578061946
- Federal Writer's Project (2013), WPA Guides, San Antonio: Trinity University Press