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Migrant camp, wide shot

[Detail] Migrant camp, wide shot


Collection Overview

Voices from the Dust Bowl, 1940-1941, is a multi-format ethnographic field collection that contains audio recordings, photographs, manuscript materials, publications, and ephemera generated during two documentation trips to migrant worker camps in California. Documented are dance tunes, cowboy songs, traditional ballads, square dance and play party calls, camp council meeting conversations, and storytelling sessions of Dust Bowl refugees who inhabited the camps.

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Special Features

These online exhibits provide context and additional information about this collection.

Historical Eras

These historical era(s) are best represented in the collection, although they may not be all-encompassing.

  • Emergence of Modern America, 1890-1930
  • The Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945

Related Collections and Exhibits

These collections and exhibits contain thematically-related primary and secondary sources. Browse the Collection Finder for more related material on the American Memory Web site.

Other Resources

Recommended additional sources of information.

Search Tips

Specific guidance for searching this collection.

Search for items using the keyword search, or by selecting from lists of Song Text, Audio Titles, Photographs, and Performers and Interviewees. Note that not all of the recordings have transcribed song texts.

For field notes describing migrant camps in detail, see Research Materials.

For related materials including a scrapbook, newspaper, camp newsletters, and a radio script about the migrant performers, go to Publications and Ephemera.

Several items in the collection contain ethnic stereotyping typical of the period. Teachers may wish to hold context-setting conversations about racism, stereotyping, and discrimination in Depression-era America when using this collection with students.

For help with general search strategies, go to Finding Items in American Memory.