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The 1930s  

The Dust Bowl, the Depression, the New Deal
Last Updated: Jan 7, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates
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Books in the Library

Here are a few books from the library's collection about the Great Depression.  Visit the Catalog to find more.

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Life During the Dust Bowl - Diane Yancey
Call Number: 978 YAN
Discusses the causes and effects of the disastrous dust storms that hit the Great Plains in the 1930s.

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The Depression and New Deal : a history in documents
Call Number: 973.917 M141d
Tells the history of the Great Depression and Roosevelt's New Deal using primary sources, including photographs, political cartoons, folk songs, letters and editorials of the time.

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This land was made for you and me : the life and songs of Woody Guthrie
Call Number: 92 Guthrie
A biography of Woody Guthrie, a singer who wrote over 3,000 folk songs and ballads as he traveled around the United States, including "This Land is Your Land" and "So Long It's Been Good to Know Yuh."

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Riding the rails : teenagers on the move during the Great Depression
Call Number: 305.568 UYS
Through letters and photographs, profiles teenagers who hopped the freight trains during the Great Depression in order to find adventure, seek employment, or escape poverty.

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

  • Academic Search Premier (EBSCO)
    Find articles here from magazines and scholarly journals. Using the advanced search will help you narrow your results (for example, roosevelt franklin AND election*)

Songs about the Time


Woody Guthrie Interview, 1940

In this 1940 interview, a 28-year-old Woody Guthrie sat down with folklorist Alan Lomax to play some of his songs and tell his story thus far.  Over the course of the interview, about 10 minutes long, he relates his tragic family history and the beginnings of his wanderings throughout the midwest.  This was the first professionally done recording of Guthrie.

For more information visit

Producer: Stacy Abramson / Associate Producer: Meagan Howell / Executive Producer: Dave Isay / Funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the New York State Council on the Arts and the Corporation. Archival recordings courtesy of the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.


Movies in the Library

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American Experience: The 1930s
Call Number: DVD 973.917 NIN
Includes segments on the Crash of 1929, Civilian Conservation Corps, Hoover dam, Surviving the dust bowl, and Seabiscuit.

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The Dust Bowl : a film by Ken Burns
Call Number: DVD 978 BUR
Chronicles the worst man-made ecological disaster in American history. A frenzied wheat boom on the southern Plains, followed by a decade-long drought during the 1930s, nearly swept away the breadbasket of the nation. Menacing black blizzards killed farmers' crops and livestock, threatened the lives of their children, and forced thousands of desperate families to pick up and move somewhere else.

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The grapes of wrath - directed by John Ford
Call Number: DVD 813 STE
Film version of John Steinbeck's novel, The Grapes of Wrath. Follows a farming family on their migration to California from their dust-bowl farm in Oklahoma during the Great Depression.

*DVD Special Features include primary source newsreels from 1934 about the Dust Bowl in the midwest.

Citing Sources

Off campus?

For access to the databases from off campus, email the librarians for passwords.


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