Making Do: Women & Work

Reviewed By: Mary Kelleher


This page is actually an internal page of the WPA Life Histories section of the Library of Congress’s American Memory Project. There are few sources considered better in accuracy and authority than the Library of Congress. This page itself is the work of Ann Banks and is based on her book, First Person America. She gives credit to those who originally helped her with the project and to those that helped put it online. The page contains photos and the interviews of three women taken during the 30’s. Each photo is accompanied by full credit and each interview is accompanied by a transcript number, the date and place of the interview and the name of the interviewer. There is also an audio version of each interview excerpt but the audio was created by an actor (credit is given to the actors on the acknowledgements page). The photos unfortunately are not of the women who were interviewed but are merely from the general geographic area and the general time period of the interview. There are only three interviews on the site, and they are all interviews of elderly women. However, there is as much of a cross-section as possible with so few interviews. One woman is a farmer, one a housewife and one a maid. One woman is African-American. Particularly impressive is that the African-American woman is not the maid. I am disappointed there were not more interviews – interviews of young women and middle-aged women, interviews of factory workers, interviews of teachers, interviews of librarians (!), etc. The page is neat, simple and easy to use. There are links to the entire site from each page. A link on the homepage takes you back to the American Memory Project and to the whole of the Library of Congress. Since this page concerns historical information, it does not need to be updated regularly. The audios on the page load well.