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Federal Writers’ Project Narratives by Formerly Enslaved Peoples Collection

Identifier: GV017

Scope and Content Note

Collection includes original narratives and typed/handwritten transcripts. The original narratives, which were incredibly fragile, have been preserved and restored and are now available to see in person. Photocopies of the handwritten and typed transcripts were created to provide access. Digital preservation copies have also been created. Information on the digital copies can be viewed:


  • 1930s

Language of Materials


Language of Materials


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open and available for use.

Restrictions on Use

Copyright is retained by the copyright holders.

Historical Notes

Collection includes 22 transcipts of narratives by formely enslaved peoples, recorded for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) Federal Writers’ Project in the 1930s. The transcripts were recorded by Carrie Campbell, with accounts taken from formely enslaved individuals living in Coahoma County, MS. The narratives were housed in a shirt box in a Mississippi closet until given to a University of Minnesota American Studies graduate student Stephen Wiley in the 1970s, who donated the materials to the Givens Collection in 1986.


3 Linear Feet (5 boxes (1 hollinger, 4 OS))


Collection contains 22 original narratives by formerly enslaved people, transcripts, and digital surragates.


Collection was donated to the Givens Collection by Stephen Wiley in 1986.

Processing Information

Collection was processed and finding aid written by Georgetta Wuo and Kathryn Hujda, 2016.

Federal Writers’ Project Narratives by Formerly Enslaved Peoples Collection
Kathryn Hujda
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Collecting Area Details

Contact The Givens Collection of African American Literature Collecting Area