Q: I own a book of camp songs I got when I attended a day camp run by the WPA at Niobrara State Park in Nebraska. The song book, titled “Camp Songs” pictures a campfire on the cover. I went to the camp for two years, and then the war started and there were no more day camps in our area. Is the song book collectible?
A: The Works Progress Administration was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in May 1935 to provide jobs for some of the unemployed during the Depression. WPA projects included building roads and bridges, schools, playgrounds, parks and airport landing fields. There were WPA projects for artists, writers, historians and mathematicians. Job training was offered as well, and day camps for children were established in several areas of the country. Over eight million people were employed by the WPA during the eight years it existed. The program, renamed Work Projects Administration in 1939, ended in June 1943 after there was no longer a shortage of jobs. WPA items of all types are collected. Your camp song book is an interesting memento of the times. It is worth about $10 to $20.