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Bibliographical guides

The United States and the 1930s: a Selective Guide to Materials in the British Library
Anne Sharp Wells

Amid political turmoil and social unrest, the United States underwent tremendous changes during the 1930s. As the period began, domestic concerns related to the early stages of the Great Depression absorbed the country. By the close of 1939, the nation's involvement with international affairs had intensified, a course which would lead, in spite of strong isolationist sentiment, to formal participation in the Second World War. During the intervening period, Franklin D. Roosevelt succeeded Herbert C. Hoover as president and inaugurated the 'New Deal', a diverse collection of programs intended to alleviate the impact of the depression. In addition to transforming the size and role of the federal government, the New Deal affected institutions and individuals throughout the country in programs ranging, for example, from the electrification of rural homes to the establishment of the Social Security system to the reform of laws covering Native Americans. The country's detailed examination of its economy, society and culture throughout the decade resulted in a large body of printed works, photographs and art.

The British Library holds a wealth of items, both contemporary and retrospective, about this important phase of United States history. This guide includes selected publications arranged by subject, geographical location or personal name. It does not contain journal articles. Each citation ends with the shelfmark in parentheses. The designation 'DSC' means that the work is held by the Document Supply service at Boston Spa but can be ordered for use at St. Pancras.

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