: Dated June 8, 1936, this photograph shows two men binding books at the Cincinnati Public Library with a note on the reverse which reads "Project #16-31-699: W.P.A. Bookbinding project in Cincinnati Public Library. Cincinnati, Ohio. Photo by W.P.A. photographer, Federal Project No.1 (Writers') District 16. 6-8-36. Division of Women's and Professional Projects." Located at 629 Vine Street, on the west side, between 6th and 7th Streets, this library is now referred to as "Old Main" Public Library. Completed in 1874 and designed by architect J.W. McLaughlin, the building was considered the "the most magnificent public library in the country." This photograph was taken from top level at the back corner of the atrium, facing towards the front of the building. Visible is the catalog desk and a bust of James Murdoch, the Cincinnati actor and public speaker (underneath the sign for ‘Fiction’). It is one of the few statues that survived the move to the “New Main” and can be found in the Literature & Languages section. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County is now one of the largest and busiest public libraries in the world and operates 41 branch locations.
This photograph is one of the many visual materials collected for use in the Ohio Guide. In 1935, President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the Works Progress Administration by executive order to create jobs for the large numbers of unemployed laborers, as well as artists, musicians, actors, and writers. The Federal Arts Program, a sector of the Works Progress Administration, included the Federal Writers’ Project, one of the primary goals of which was to complete the America Guide series, a series of guidebooks for each state which included state history, art, architecture, music, literature, and points of interest to the major cities and tours throughout the state. Work on the Ohio Guide began in 1935 with the publication of several pamphlets and brochures. The Reorganization Act of 1939 consolidated the Works Progress Administration and other agencies into the Federal Works Administration, and the Federal Writers’ Project became the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio. The final product was published in 1940 and went through several editions. The Ohio Guide Collection consists of 4,769 photographs collected for use in Ohio Guide and other publications of the Federal Writers’ Project in Ohio from 1935-1939.
View on Ohio Memory.
: SA1039AV_B02F14_001_1 Subjects
: Cincinnati Public Library; Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County; Murdoch, James; McLaughlin, J. W.; Public libraries Places
: Cincinnati (Ohio); Hamilton County (Ohio)