USF Libraries | Special & Digital Collections | Exhibits

Introduction to WPA

      The Works Progress Administration archives at the University of South Florida Special Collections provide an essential insight into the experiences of Tampa residents in the 1930s and 40s. The collection provides legal documents, both local and federal, and ethnographic accounts, illustrating the racial issues present and their direct and indirect effect on music making in Tampa.  Although not focused on jazz, the WPA collection highlights the ways other musical traditions, especially folk and classical ones, functioned in the community during the period of jazz’s most mainstream success, the Swing Era.