WPA household census cards and employee records, Los Angeles

About this Collection

The Works Progress Administration Los Angeles Household Census Cards collection dates from 1939. The physical cards which number nearly half a million items are owned by the USC Libraries. More than a quarter of the collection has been digitized. The household survey cards (or "dwelling schedules"), one for each street address in greater Los Angeles, document a wide variety of information ranging from the type of dwelling, the value of the property, the monthly rent or mortgage, to whether or not there were flush toilets. While these cards form the bulk of the collection, other digitized documents include "block face cards" and "block lists" -- documenting the census process -- as well as employee records which provide a fascinating view of the background and skills of the census takers themselves. Naturally, in this city of the car, the employee records include whether or not the employee owned an automobile. View this collection on the contributor's website.
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