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Civil Works Administration Photographs

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The New Deal under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt attempted to provide recovery and relief from the Great Depression by the establishment of a number of emergency relief programs. The Civil Works Administration was a subdivision of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration which provided work relief for a large number of men during the winter of 1933 and 1934. Photographs depicting CWA projects in the state of Washington include road construction and improvements, bridge construction and maintenance, waterway improvements, playfield and park improvements, water and sewage pipeline repairs, school maintenance projects, hospital and nursing activities, and airport improvements. Despite the efforts of the CWA and similar programs, unemployment persisted in the early years of Roosevelt's presidency. By the end of 1934, about one-sixth of the entire country was still on relief.

About the Database

This database was produced as part of the Crossing Organizational Boundaries IMLS Grant. The results of this grant project are also showcased on the King County Snapshots web site. The information for the Civil Works Administration Collection was researched and prepared by the IMLS Grant, UW Libraries Special Collections Division, and Cataloging staff in 2002-2003. Not all the photographs from the collection were included in this database: the database consists of 119 digital images chosen from a group of approximately 151 photographic prints. The photographic prints were scanned as a 3000 pixel TIFF image in 8-bit grayscale, resized to 640 pixels in width and compressed into JPEG format using Photoshop 6.0 and its JPEG quality measurement 3. The scanned images were then linked with descriptive data using the UW CONTENTdm program. The original collection resides in the UW Libraries Special Collections Division as the Civil Works Administration Collection no. 267.


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