The number of workers employed by the Writers' and Music Projects allowed folklorists and students of folk music to undertake large and comprehensive projects. Writers' Project workers interviewed members of ethnic groups and working people about their lives and work. They talked with former slaves and collected work and life histories of Jewish garment workers, Connecticut clock makers, Chicago steelworkers, and Arizona copper miners. They preserved Native American legends, Spanish American games, and the "tall tales" of Montana's copper camps. Likewise, Music Project and Resettlement Administration field workers drove across the country with their portable equipment, recording and transcribing work songs, folk ballads, spirituals, and other music from diverse ethnic traditions. Project workers hoped these interviews and recordings would eventually lead to publications, but most remain unpublished. This raw material, however, has provided a rich resource for a variety of novelists, folklorists, and historians.

Click to print this page

Click to Close Window