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Twentieth-century U.S. society and politics

Progressive Era

Records of the Children's Bureau, 1912-1969: Records of the federal agency focused on decreasing infant mortality through prenatal care, infant and women's health clinics, visiting nurses, public sanitation, and parents' education. The bureau also played a role in the passage and administration of the Sheppard-Towner Act, which authorized federal grants for state-level children's health initiatives, including midwife training programs, licensing procedures for maternity homes, and more research and data collection on maternal and infant mortality. Over the years, the bureau expanded its attention to also include aid to people with disabilities, rickets research, child nutrition, and mental health.  In addition to its focus on public health, the bureau played a major role in the creation and implementation of social welfare programs. From the beginning, the agency was dedicated to the regulation of child labor, conducting studies on child workers in their homes and workplaces. In 1916, Congress passed the Keating-Owen Act to regulate child labor, and tasked the bureau with its administration and enforcement. The bureau also went on to establish standards for juvenile courts, and reported on children in day institutions, detention homes, and foster homes. During the Great Depression, the bureau helped to document families' needs and local relief efforts, working with the Federal Emergency Relief Administration to administer aid to children in need. They were involved with programs to provide relief for homeless and transient people, focusing primarily on young people without homes or families, and non-institutional aid to servicemen and their families, mothers' aid and widows' pensions, legal aid, protective case work for young people, psychiatric social service, and travelers' aid.

The Depression

Bureau of Social Hygiene project and research files, 1913-1940 [microform]
Microfilm 05108
31 reels
Printed guide: Firestone Microforms HV99.N6B853
The Bureau of Social Hygiene was a research institute founded by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. and charged with investigating social problems and crime, especially prostitution. The project files are arranged by topic. Covers primarily 1928-1935, with some earlier and later material.

Archives of the Work Projects Administration and predecessors 1933-1943. series one, the final state reports, 1943 [microform]
RECAP Microfilm 11861
13 reels
Printed guide: Firestone Microforms E806 .U547 1987
The WPA "provided jobs to unemployed workers on public projects sponsored by federal, state, or local agencies." See

Literature, Culture and Society in Depression Era America: Archives of the Federal Writers' Project Archives Unbound
"This collection presents the Federal Writers’ Project (FWP) publications of all 47 states involved in the project, which ran from 1933 to 1943. Forming the most complete collection of publications from all participating states, this archive contains more than 450 individual items, many of which are typed or mimeographed and received only limited circulation. The FWP was a part of "Federal One," the arts project established by the WPA to cover music, theater, art and writers."

The Living New Deal  A database of buildings, public art, and parks developed by agencies funded by the federal government during the New Deal

Photogrammer -- Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Photograph Archive

Film History

Hollywood, Censorship, and the Motion Picture Production Code, 1927-1968 Archives Unbound "The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) Production Code Administration Files collection documents forty years of self-regulation and censorship in the motion picture industry. The Production Code was written in 1929 by Martin J. Quigley, an influential editor and publisher of motion picture trade periodicals, and Reverend Daniel A. Lord, a Jesuit advisor to Hollywood filmmakers. Officially accepted in 1930 by the Motion Picture Producers and Distributors of America (MPPDA), the precursor organization to the MPAA, the Production Code presented guidelines governing American movie production.  Margaret Herrick Library of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, Beverly Hills, California."


"Through the Camera Lens:" The Moving Picture World and the Silent Cinema Era, 1907-1927 Archives Unbound Digital edition of Moving Picture World, a trade magazine which reviewed current releases and published news, features, and interviews relating to all aspects of the industry.


Advertising & City Planning

The Law

Photographs and Illustrations

Civil Liberties

Federal Budget


Interactive maps

Publishing History