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WPA Records

Identifier: MSS-0011

Scope and Contents

The WPA Records are drafts and research notes used for the planned books and pamphlets produced by the Omaha office of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Writers' Project (FWP), including the never published Omaha City Guide. The records, dated 1935-1943, are 14.52 cubic feet and housed in 44 boxes. Note that the Works Progress Administration was renamed in 1939 as the Work Projects Administration)

The bulk of the papers are typescript, with a few handwritten notes. The collection includes reports about architectural works (primarily buildings), businesses and industry, cemeteries, charities, collections, crime and criminals, defense trainee interviews, education, ethnicity (race and national origin), fine arts (artists, authors, music, and theater), folklore, hospitals, interviews and biographies, the Missouri River, the State of Nebraska, newspaper clippings on a variety of topics, information about the newspapers themselves (rivalries, strikes, unions, newspapermen, and individual Nebraska newspapers), the City of Omaha, organizations and clubs, parks, politics, printing, "Prophets of Armageddon" (including information about George F. Train), radio scripts ("Pageant of Nebraska," "Pageant of Omaha," and "Pageant of Wakefield"), religion, residences, sports and recreation, the W.P.A. (American Guide Manual, bibliographies, correspondence, indexes, projects, publications, tours, and writer's production reports), and miscellaneous information. The Nebraska category is further broken down into archaeology, Civilian Conservation Corps, Douglas County, early explorers and explorations, farming, history (the most extensive portion), military information, plants and wildlife, Sarpy County, topography, villages and towns outside of Omaha, Washington County, and miscellaneous information. The Nebraska portion of the collection also includes the Nebraska Almanac, the Nebraska Atlas, and the Nebraska Encyclopedia (biographies and county information).

Selections from this collection (A-E, Architecture-Ethnicity, in the folder list), including the papers of the Omaha City Guide Project, have been digitized and are available online in Islandora at


  • 1935-1943


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research use. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the Nebraska Public Records Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat. §§ 84-712 through 84-712.09), and other relevant regulations. Confidential material may include, but is not limited to, educational, medical, and personnel records. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of Nebraska Omaha assumes no responsibility.

Conditions Governing Use

The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, Archives & Special Collections will provide information about copyright owners and related information. Securing permission to publish or use material is the responsibility of the researcher. Note that unless specifically transferred to the University of Nebraska at Omaha, any applicable copyrights may be held by another individual or entity. Further information about copyright policy is available at


14.52 Cubic Feet (44 boxes)


Arranged by topic and ethnic group.

Custodial History

The papers were in the possession of the UNO Gene Eppley Library prior to 1979, when they were re-discovered and organized by Special Collections staff.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received by Criss Library prior to 1979. Accession details are incomplete or absent.

Related Materials

Works Progress Administration Collection (RG 515) is available at the Nebraska State Historical Society in Lincoln, Nebraska.

Processing Information

Collection was processed by Criss Library staff after 1979 and prior to 1996.

WPA Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the University of Nebraska at Omaha Archives & Special Collections Repository

Archives & Special Collections
Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library
6001 Dodge St.
Omaha Nebraska 68182-0237 United States