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State Agency Records - North Dakota Writers Project, North Dakota Guide - #30552

Title: State Historical Society. North Dakota Writers' Project, North Dakota Guide Files

Dates: ca. 1935-1942

Record Series: 30552

Quantity: 4.5 feet

Abstract: Contains manuscript drafts of the North Dakota Guide, survey instructions, reports, memoranda, county and city histories, miscellaneous publications, and correspondence concerning the collection of the data, publicity, and publications.

Provenance: The North Dakota State Archives acquired these records series through the auspices of the Historical Data Project, Professional and Service Division, Work Projects Administration, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota, ca.1936-1940.

Copyright: Public records are not subject to copyright restrictions, although record series may contain copyrighted material. Consideration of such copyrights is the responsibility of the author and publisher.

Access: These records are available for public inspection under provision of the North Dakota Century Code, 55-02.1-08.

Citation: Researchers are requested to cite the record group, series name and number, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota in all footnote and bibliographic references.

PREFACE – from North Dakota: a Guide to the Northern Prairie State, 1938:

North Dakota: a Guide to the Northern Prairie State is something new in this part of the country. For the first time North Dakotans and their guests have a concise but comprehensive survey of the State, which tells them what should be seen, and why, and how. Our aim has been a book not only to be used in touring the State, but to be enjoyed by fireside travelers and all who would deepen their understanding of North Dakota.

As one of the volumes in the American Guide Series, written by members of the Federal Writers’ Project of the Works Progress Administration, the North Dakota guide has more than State significance, wide as this is. The National project was designed primarily to give useful employment to needy writers and research workers; it has developed into a more ambitious undertaking. The American Guide Series, covering forty-eight states, Puerto Rico, Alaska, and numerous cities and towns, is unrolling a unique and inspiring panorama of these United States with their lively background and their vibrant present. The North Dakota guide adds its contributions to the whole, giving the reader a picture of the State, its land and resources, its history, people, the cities and towns they have built, and the principal points of interest. New chapters in North Dakota’s story and other phases of its life and works are still to be told. This volume—a pioneer enterprise in a State where the records of the past and the varied life of today had to been heretofore assembled—may well serve as an incentive and a foundation for further books.

Not ten or fifty or a hundred, but actually hundreds of North Dakotans helped in the making of the guide, from the many who contributed information about their own communities or field of work down to the handful of editors and writers who brought that information within the covers of this book.
- Ethel Schlasinger State Director


The Federal Writers Project was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1935. One of the most important outcomes of the project was the American Guide Series, published in the 48 states, Alaska Territory, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C.  The books contained historical materials, descriptions of the states, and driving tours. The North Dakota Writers’ Project also began in 1935 and was sponsored by the Division of Women’s and Professional Projects, the WPA, and the State Historical Society of North Dakota.  The North Dakota Writers Project records consist of 16 record series of which the North Dakota Guide is one. The North Dakota Guide Files consist of manuscript drafts of the North Dakota Guide, survey instructions, reports, memoranda, county and city histories, miscellaneous publications, and correspondence concerning the collection of the data, publicity, and publication. Research for the articles was done by residents of the local communities and many of the drafts contain the names of the authors.

Box / Folder Inventory

Box 147:
1 Folklore
2 Agricultural Statistics
3 Industry and Labor
4 Schools and Churches
5 Press and Radio
6 Transportation
7 Architecture
8 Recreation
9 Roosevelt State Parks
10 Points of Interest in Districts
11 Fort Abraham Lincoln
12 Parks
13 Coal Mines   
14 Bismarck
15 Grand Forks
16 Tour 2
17 Fargo and West Fargo
18 Minot
19 Sectional Descriptions
20 Tour Example copy
21 Tour 1
22 Tour 1A
23 Tour 2
24 Tour 3
25 Tour 3A
26 Tour 3B
27 Tour 4
28 Tour 4A
29 Tour 4B
30 Tour 5
31 Tour 5A
32 Tour 6
33 Tour 6A
34 Tour 6B
35 Tour 7
36 Tour 8
37 Tour 8A
38 Tour 8B
39 Tour 8C
40 Tour 8D
41 Tour 8F
42 Tour 9
43 Chronology
44 Tour 10
45 Bibliography
46 Index
47 Index
48 Maps
49 Table of Contents
50 Foreward
51 Notations of the Use of this Book
52 Information for Travelers
53 Preface
54 Calendar of Annual Events
55 Contemporary North Dakota
56 Natural Setting
57 Indians and their Predecessors
58 History
59 Agriculture
60 Industry and Labor
61 Racial Groups and Folkways
62 Schools and Churches
63 Transportation
64 Press and Radio
65 Architecture
66 Recreation
67 Bismarck
68 Fargo
69 Grand Forks
70 Minot
71 Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park
72 Roosevelt Regional State Parks
73 Publicity Data
74 Tour 1
75 Tour 1A

Box 148:
1 Newspaper Clippings 
2 Newspaper Clippings
3 News Releases
4 State Editorial Identification Forms 1936
5 State Editorial Identification Forms 1936
6 Towns on North Dakota Tours
7 Word Counts
8 WPA Federal Writers’ Project Memos 1936-1938

Box 149:
1 Adams County – Alyce M. Sims
2 Barnes County – Fred J. Reher
3 Benson County – P. B. Rognlie
4 Billings County – Guy Lee
5 Bottineau County – A. Franklin Vikan
6 Burleigh County – Mary Hennessy
7 Cass, Grant and Kidder Counties – Luella O. McKane, Pearl Lee
8 Cavalier, Dickey and Divide Counties – Lilly Watson, Beulah Coit
9 Dunn County – Randeen Hoovestol, Evelyn Kaspar, L. K. Thompson
10 Eddy County – E. L. Horton
11 Emmons County – George H. Purchase
12 Foster County – E. L. Horton
13 Golden Valley County – Arthur G. Hanson
14 Grand Forks County – Betty Hall, Ellen C. Brager
15 Griggs County
16 Hettinger County – Mary Ellen Mooney
17 LaMoure County – Beulah Coit
18 Logan County – Lawrence Arntz, Nina W. Arntz

Box 150:
1 McHenry County – A. Franklin Vikan, Ralph Holm
2 McIntosh County – Lawrence Arntz, Nina W. Arntz
3 McKenzie County – Olga J. Lassey
4 McLean County – Bigelow Neal
5 Mercer County – T. S. Brown
6 Morton County  - Cameron Holbrook
7 Mountrail County – Clarence Borrud
8 Nelson County – Ellen Brager, Bernice Seebart
9 Oliver County – T. S. Brown
10 Pembina County – Althea May
11 Pierce County  - Hazel Stern
12 Ramsey County – P. B. Rognlie
13 Ransom County – Beulah Coit
14 Renville County  - Betty Troen
15 Richland County  - F. G. Callan
16 Richland County Biographies
17 Richland County draft
18 Rolette County – S. R. Cook, Kenneth L. Sayles
19 Sargent County – Beulah Coit
20 Sheridan County – T. D. Monsen
21 Sioux County – Walter E. Houk, Sr.
22 Slope and Bowman Counties – Clifford Puckett
23 Stark County – Walter Jeske
24 Stark County
25 Stark County – General Information
26 Stutsman County – Gladys G. Youmans

Box 151:
1 Towner County – E. S. Oderkirk
2 Walsh County  - Eunice Hanson
3 Ward County – W. C. Davis
4 Wells County – T. D. Monsen
5 Williams County – D. I. Todd
6 Agriculture
7 The American Guide
8 Bibliography – approved
9 Calendar of Annual Events
10 Chronology – approved
11 Coal Mine
12 Contemporary North Dakota
13 Correspondence – Logan and McIntosh 1937-1938
14 Correspondence – Morton County 1936
15 Correspondence – Stark County 1935-1938
16 Chateau de Mores
17 Final Copy Contents
18 Fort Buford
19 General Information for Travelers
20 Guide Jacket
21 History
22 History – draft
23 Index
24 Indians
25 Indians and Their Predecessors
26 International Peace Garden
27 Introduction
28 List of Buildings to be Described
29 List of Points and Sites
30 Moslem Colony at Ross
31 North Dakota: Its Natural Setting
32 Notations on the Use of this Book
33 Place Name Origins – Stark
34 Points of Interest
35 Press Copy Tours 3-6B
36 Press Copy Tours 7-10
37 Roosevelt National Parks
38 Table of Contents
39 Tour 5 draft
40 WPA Supplementary Instructions to American Guide Manual 1936

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