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Fort Lauderdale

Punch Teaches a Lesson. A Guignol [Hand Puppet]

Play. [Pittsburgh?:] [Pennsylvania] Museum Extension Project, Works Progress Administration-District 15,[n.d]

Broward County Library. The Special Collections and Rare Book Department, Broward County Main Library. Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Broward County Main Library, in downtown Fort Lauderdale, houses The Special Collections and Rare Books Department. The Department contains several important collections including the Works Progress Administration Collection; a Big Little Books Collection; Floridiana; works by John D. MacDonald; and an extensive collection of videotaped interviews with contemporary authors produced by the Florida Center for the Book.

Works Progress Administration Collection.

Jean Fitzgerald of Fort Lauderdale became interested in the American Guide Series of the Federal Writers' Project as a naval officer stationed in Washington, D.C. Browsing in William F. Hale Books in Georgetown, he came across Washington City and Capital. This was his first guide purchase. When Fitzgerald was posted to other areas of the United States he purchased and traveled with additional volumes of the American Guide Series. With the help of William F. Hale, Fitzgerald began to expand his collection, adding to it states and cities and other Federal Writers' Project publications. During a visit to a Palm Beach bookstore owned by Evanel Powell-Brant, Fitzgerald learned of her sizable Federal Writers' Project collection, which he later bought after Powell-Brant moved to Tampa. This purchase gave Fitzgerald one of the most extensive Federal Writers' Project collections in existence. A former Library Advisory Board member and a founder of the Broward County Library Foundation, Fitzgerald was so impressed with the new Main Library when it opened in 1984 that he donated his collection to its Special Collections.

In 1935 the United States federal government began the Works Progress Administration as a means of providing jobs, rather than the dole, to millions of unemployed Americans. The Federal Writers' Project was developed for authors to write about America and its history, culture, and traditions. The Writers' Project began to prepare a series of guides, one for each state, that would serve as a traveler's handbook and documentation of everyday life.

Thousands of writers, historians, novelists, and poets worked throughout the United States on this series. The American Guide Series became the standard travel guides for each of the then forty-eight states, Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia. The books varied in size from several hundred to over a thousand pages. The American Guide series includes additional publications on landmarks and cultural subjects as well as city guides. The contents of the guides has had great longevity and a number of the state guides have been reprinted and can still be used to plan trips and tours.

Florida. A Guide to the Southern-most State. Compiled and written by the Federal Writers' Project of the Work Projects Administration for the State of Florida. American Guide Series. illustrated. Sponsored by State of Florida Department of Public Instruction. New York: Oxford University Press, 1939.

This book was the first of thirteen guides published by Oxford University Press. It contains sections on: Natural Settings; Industry; Recreation; Cities I; Cities II; Agriculture; Along the Highway I; and Along the Highway II. Some of the photographs were taken by the Farm Security Administration and artwork was provided by the Florida Federal Art Project. There is a list of over four hundred consultants at the end of the work. Not included in this list, but nevertheless a contributor, was Zora Neale Hurston.

In 1938 Hurston joined the editorial staff of the Florida Federal Writers' Project in the Negro Section. Her position on the editorial staff was to help collect and edit material for a book to be called The Florida Negro which was not published until 1991. The information she gathered and wrote was subsequently used in Florida. A Guide to the Southern-most State. Her distinctive voice is heard in several sections of the book, describing the black experience and culture in Florida. Hurston wrote or drafted descriptions of the towns of Maitland and Eatonville as well as other sections which were later replicated in her books Mules and Men and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Festivals in San Francisco. American Guide Series. Prepared by the Northern California Writers' Project. Work Projects Administration. Sponsored by International Institute. Stanford University: J. L. Delkin, 1939.

Considered to be one of the most handsome publications of the American Guide Series, this work was printed in a limited edition of 1,000 copies by the Grabhorn Press in San Francisco. The work, edited by Katherine Gorringe Justice, with an introduction by Walter McElroy, contains descriptions of forty-one festivals and celebrations held in the city of San Francisco by such various ethnic groups as the Japanese, Peruvians, Mexicans, Irish, and Russians. The book is printed in black and red with a colored frontispiece and three full-page colored drawings. The illustrations are hand-printed in various colors by a cut- out tissue paper process. Pauline Vinson designed the colored headpieces.

Punch Teaches a Lesson. A Guignol [Hand Puppet] Play. [Pittsburgh?]: [Pennsylvania] Museum Extension Project, Works Progress Administration - District 15, [n.d.]. Text title: Mr. Punch teaches a Lesson - Playing with Fire. A Guignol Hand Puppet Safety Play.

The Pennsylvania Museum Extension Program was a unique WPA project. It was operated by the WPA division of the Women's and Professional Division in the state capital of Harrisburg, with units in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. The project concentrated on two main activities - the production of visual aids and the creation of docent services for museums. The visual education portion was directed at public schools and the six thousand one-room schoolhouses in rural areas. The Program developed such teaching tools as 3-D maps, architectural models of historical places and a special puppet program. The puppet program produced puppeteers' handbooks, puppet plays, and orchestra scores. Punch and Judy (or Guignol) was a tried and true entertaining format for teaching children lessons such as fire safety.