Books in the American Guide Series
Arranged alphabetically by title.



Some Background Information on The American Guide Series

One of the best known, and perhaps least understood, series titles is The American Guide Series which was produced under the direction of the Federal Writer's Project, an agency of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  The impact of this program sent some 6,000 Depression-era authors out across the country to record anything of interest.  Referring to this effort the poet, W. H. Auden, called it "one of the noblest and most absurd undertakings ever attempted by a [government]."  Many collectors choose to limit the meaning of "American Guide Series" to just those tour guides which were published on the 48 contiguous states plus Alaska, Puerto Rico, New York City and Washington, D.C.  However, the Federal Writer's Project used the term to apply to many more titles in the series.  Indeed a huge collection of articles, monographs and books were published on many facets of American life.  This diversity included topics of history, folklore, nature, national parks, communities, highways, rivers, islands and growing vegetables.  In most cases in exchange for the fees and stipends received by the authors they had to remain anonymous allowing the WPA and the Federal Writer's Project to take authorial credit.  The list that follows represents only a small sampling of the books in the series.

Copyright 2001, Town's End Books, All Rights Reserved.


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    WPA:  San Francisco The Bay and Its Cities.  New York: Hastings House, 1940. First Edition. Very good+ in heavy, light blue-gray cloth covered boards with dark blue text on the spine and front board. An octavo of 8 by 5 3/8 inches. Without its issued dust jacket. This volume was written and compiled by the Federal Writers' Project of the WPA in Northern California and is one of the volumes in the American Guide Series. 531 pages with index,text and photographs through-out.
    TB31156  $80.00



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    WPA:  Arizona A State Guide.  New York: Hastings House, 1940. First Edition. Very good+ in tan buckram with brown text stampings on the spine and front board and map end papers with a neatly written gift inscription written at the upper edge of the second free end page. A small octavo of 8 by 5 3/8 inches with foxing to the front gutter and foxing to the hinge areas front and back due to a reaction with the glue used in binding. In only a good, price clipped dust jacket with heavy chipping to the upper 1/3rd of the spine area and a three inch chip from the upper rear corner of the front panel. 530 pages including an index, appedices, and photographs in eight sections. The 27th volume in the American state Guide Series.
    TB30886  $50.00




  • WPA:  Here's New England.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1939. First Edition, First printing. Very good+ in decorated red cloth covered boards with modest fading to the heel of the spine and the lower edge of the front board and with a gift inscription on the front free end paper and a prior owner's name on the front end paper. In a poor dust jacket with a 3/4" deep chip at the upper edge of the spine area which wraps around to the panels with numerous other small chips, wear, creasing and tears some of which have been repaired with tape. 122 pages including an index and illustrated with maps and two sections of black and white photographs.
    TB17301  $28.00



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    WPA:  A Maritime History of New York.  New York: Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., 1941. First Edition, First printing. Very good+ in light blue cloth covered boards with black and yellow text on the spine and a black sketch of Sandy Hook Lighthouse on the front board and with illustrated end sheets. An octavo measuring 8 1/4" by 5 1/2" with the cloth at the head and heel of the spine crimped, but otherwise undamaged. Without its issued dust jacket. With an introduction by Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia. 341 pages including an index, bibliography, and text. Illustrated with 16 black and white photographic reproductions and reproductions of earlier works of art. Considered "scarce" by Jeff Dykes (item 222) in his catalog and checklist of the American Guide Series.
    TB28600  $95.00



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    WPA:  Massachusetts A Guide to its Places and People.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1937. First Edition. Very good+ in simulated blue leather cloth covered boards with gilt text on the spine and on the front board. The cloth at the head and heel of the spine is lightly rubbed and the text on the spine is slightly faded. faded. In a very good, price clipped dust jacket with heavy wear and rubbing at the ends of the spine area with several shallow chips at the fore corners of the front and rear panels. The spine area is also tanned. 675 pages with index, text, and eight sections of black and white photographs with maps throughout and with the multi-colored map within the pocket at the rear of the book. A clean and handsome copy with no prior ownership markings.
    TB31058  $125.00



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    WPA:  Minnesota A State Guide.  New York: The Viking Press, 1947, c.1938. First Editon. Near fine in dark blue cloth covered boards with gilt text stamping on the spine and on the front board with foxing to the end sheets a result of a reaction to the glues used in binding. In a very good, unclipped dust jacket with the spine area slightly tanned, 1/8th inch deep chips across the upper edge of the spine area and 1/16th inch chips across the lower edge of the same, rubbing and wear to the upper edge of the front panel and a one inch closed tear to the rear panel which has been repaired on its verso side with archival tape. 523 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, text and 53 pages of black and white photographs and with 12 maps within the body of the text. The multi-colored map of the state is contained within the rear pocket. The map is in excellent condition.
    TB31062  $150.00



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    WPA:  The Minnesota Arrowhead Country.  Chicago: Albert Whitman & Co., 1941. First Edition, First printing. Near fine in smooth green cloth covered boards with dark green text on the spine and on the front board with map end papers. A small octavo measuring 7 7/8 by 51/8 inches with moderate dust staining to the top edge of the text block. In a very good, price clipped dust jacket with 1/8 inch deep chipping across both the upper and lower edges of the spine area and two large chips from the rear panel. The contents are very clean, tight and free of any damage or prior ownership markings. Similar content to the American Guide Series for the state of Minnestoa. 231 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, glossary, industrial and commercial data for the state, text and illustrated with 44 black and white photographs in six sections and with four maps within the body of the text.
    TB31982  $85.00




  • WPA:  New Hampshire A Guide to the Granite State.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1938. First Edition. Very near fine in dark blue, simulated leather, cloth covered boards with gilt text stamping on the spine with map end sheets. A small octavo measuring 8 by 5 1/4 inches with the gilt text on the spine faded and front board faded and with a dated, gift inscription on the fly title page. In a very good-, price clipped dust jacket with 1/2 deep chipping across the upper edge of the spine area and 1/16 inch deep chipping across the lower edge of the same. There a numerous short closed tears around the edges of the panels. 559 pages with index, text, black and illustrated with eight sections of black and white photographs and a pocket on the rear end paper with the multi-color, fold-out map of the state within which is in fine condition. Overall a very nice, clean, tight and collectable copy with no prior ownership markings of any kind.
    TB32473  $125.00



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    WPA:  A Picture of Lycoming Copunty.  Williamsport: The Commissioners of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, 1939. First Edition. Very good+ in blue cloth covered boards with little left of the gilt text on the spine and slightly slightly chipped gilt text stamped on the front board. A small octavo measuring 7 3/4 by 5 3/8 inches with light rubbing to the cloth at the head and heel of the spine. Without a dust jacket. 219 pages of text and black and white photographs followed by a one page bibliography. Considered "scarce" by Jeffery Dykes in his bibliography/catalog of the series. Currently there are no other copies presently on the Internet market. (Dykes: American Guide Series, 288)
    TB29147  $125.00



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    WPA:  The Records of the Swedish Lutheran Churches At Raccoon And Penns Neck 1713-1786.  Elizabeth, New Jersey: New Jersey Commission to Commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the Settlement by the Swedes and Finns on the Delaware, 1938. First Edition. Near fine in blue cloth covered boards with gilt text on the spine. A small quarto of 9 1/8 by 6 inches with a prior owner's name on the first free end page. In a good-, unclipped dust jacket with a large four inch deep chip from the lower section of the front panel which extends onto the lower portion of the spin area. 387 pages including an index. Illustrated with a frontispiece from two black and white photographs. Jeff Dykes in his catalog/check list of the American Guide Series refers to this title as "scarce". (Dykes, American Guide Series, 202)
    TB31682  $125.00



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    WPA:  Rhode Island A Guide to the Smallest State.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1937. First Edition. Near fine in simulated red leather cloth covered boards with gilt text on the spine and on the front board. A small octavo of 8 by 5 1/2 inches with slight rubbing to the cloth at corners at the head and heel of the spine. A prior owner has placed a book plate upside down on the fly title page. In a good, price clipped dust jacket with heavy wear and chipping to the ends of the spine area, small chips from the fore corners of the panels over the tips of the boards, and multiple chips and closed tears to the rear panel. 500 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, tour guides, and illustrated with maps and eight sections of black and white photographs. The rear pocket on the rear end paper contains the multi-colored, fold-out map of the state which is in excellent condition.
    TB32370  $125.00



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    WPA:  The Swedes and Finns in New Jersey.  n.p.: Sponsored by The New Jersey Commissionto Commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the Settlement by the Swedes and Finns on the Delaware, 1938. First Edition. Very good+ in royal blue ribbed cloth covered boards with tarnished gilt text stamping on the spine. The cloth at the head and heel of the spine is lightly rubbed and there is a prior owner's name on the upper fore corner of the first free end page. The end sheets are printed with a map of southern New Jersey. Without it issued dust jacket. A small 4to measuring 9 1/8 by 6 inches. One of the more unusual titles in the American Guide Series as noted on the title page.165 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, text and illustrated with black and white photographs throughout and map end papers.
    TB28672  $85.00



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    WPA:  Tales Of Pioneer Pittsburgh.  n.p.: William Penn Association, c1937. . Very good+ in self wraps over a stapled binding in heavy, printed orange paper covers. An octavo of 8 3/4 by 5 1/2 inches with light soiling to the front cover. without a dust jacket as issued. 28 pages of text followed by a one page bibliography. Illustrated with small vignettes at the bottom margins of the pages.
    TB31068  $40.00



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    WPA:  Washington City and Capital.  Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1937. First Edition. Near fine in heavy black cloth covered boards with gilt text on the spine and with illustrated map end sheets. A thick small quarto measuring 9 by 6 inches with no flaws of any kind. A copy which does not appear to have been read. In a good, unclipped dust jacket. There is a two inch deep chip at the upper edge of the spine area; 3/4 inch chips from the upper corners of the front and rear panels; shallow chipping from the lower edge of the spine area; and, heavy rubbing to the folds to the flaps. 1,141 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, text and illustrated with maps and images from black and white photographs throughout. With both of the two multi-colored maps in the rear pocket (both of which are in fine condition). This was the second volume published in the American Guide Series and despite its first printing of 5,000 copies collectible copies with the maps are rather uncommon and to locate one in a dust jacket is nearly impossible.
    TB32607  $750.00



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    WPA:  Whaling Masters.  New Bedford, Mass.: Old Dartmouth Historical Society Whaling Museum, 1938. First Edition ("Reynolds Printing"), First printing. Very good in dark green cloth covered boards with gilt text stamping on the spine and front board. An octavo measuring 9 by 6 inches with rubbing and wear to the cloth at the ends of the spine area and a split to the cloth of the front joint which has been professionally repaired and with a prior owner's written notes in pencil at the top of the second free end page and with extensive penciled notes on the last free end pages. Without its issued dust jacket One of the most difficult titles to obtain in the WPA's American Guide Series. 314 pages with 3 illustrations. The book provides the most complete directory of Whaling Captains, their ships and voyages from every whaling port in the US. (Dykes, 143; Powell, 632)
    TB32812  $250.00






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