Books in the American Guide Series
Arranged alphabetically by title.



Some Background Information on The American Guide Series

One of the best known, and perhaps least understood, series titles is The American Guide Series which was produced under the direction of the Federal Writer's Project, an agency of the Works Progress Administration (WPA).  The impact of this program sent some 6,000 Depression-era authors out across the country to record anything of interest.  Referring to this effort the poet, W. H. Auden, called it "one of the noblest and most absurd undertakings ever attempted by a [government]."  Many collectors choose to limit the meaning of "American Guide Series" to just those tour guides which were published on the 48 contiguous states plus Alaska, Puerto Rico, New York City and Washington, D.C.  However, the Federal Writer's Project used the term to apply to many more titles in the series.  Indeed a huge collection of articles, monographs and books were published on many facets of American life.  This diversity included topics of history, folklore, nature, national parks, communities, highways, rivers, islands and growing vegetables.  In most cases in exchange for the fees and stipends received by the authors they had to remain anonymous allowing the WPA and the Federal Writer's Project to take authorial credit.  The list that follows represents only a small sampling of the books in the series.

Copyright 2001, Town's End Books, All Rights Reserved.


To order any of these books please use your mouse button to click on the check box next to each book title.   Then tap the ORDER button below and that will start the secure server shopping box system.



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  San Francisco The Bay and Its Cities.  New York: Hastings House, 1940. First Edition. Very good+ in heavy, light blue-gray cloth covered boards with dark blue text on the spine and front board. An octavo of 8 by 5 3/8 inches. Without its issued dust jacket. This volume was written and compiled by the Federal Writers' Project of the WPA in Northern California and is one of the volumes in the American Guide Series. 531 pages with index,text and photographs through-out.
    TB31156  $80.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Arizona A State Guide.  New York: Hastings House, 1940. First Edition. Very good+ in tan buckram with brown text stampings on the spine and front board and map end papers with a neatly written gift inscription written at the upper edge of the second free end page. A small octavo of 8 by 5 3/8 inches with foxing to the front gutter and foxing to the hinge areas front and back due to a reaction with the glue used in binding. In only a good, price clipped dust jacket with heavy chipping to the upper 1/3rd of the spine area and a three inch chip from the upper rear corner of the front panel. 530 pages including an index, appedices, and photographs in eight sections. The 27th volume in the American state Guide Series.
    TB30886  $75.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  California A Guide to the Golden State.  New York: Hastings House, 1945 c1939. First Edition. Very good in light-green cloth covered boards with the spine slightly tanned and with foxing to the end papers due to a reaction with the glue employed in binding. A small octavo measuring 8 by 5 1/4 inches.. The book is missing its issued dust jacket. 713 pages with index, text, black and white photographs in eight sections and a pocket on the rear end paper with the multi-colored fold-out map of the state which is in excellent condition.
    TB33226  $100.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Connecticut A Guide to its Roads, Lore and People.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1938. First Edition, First Printing. Near fine in red simulated leather covered boards with foxing to the rear inner hinge due to a reaction to the glue used in binding. A small octavo measuring 8 by 5 3/8 inches. In a very good+, unclipped dust jacket with small chips and closed tears to the ends of the spine area and with short closed tears to the ends of the rear panel. The rear end paper of the book has a pocket within which is the multi-color map of the state which is in fine condition. 593 pages including an index, chronology, ten tour guides and text. Illustrated with eight sections of black and white photographs. Overall, a very nice, tight and with no prior ownership markings of any kind.
    TB32856  $125.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Delaware A Guide to the First State.  New York: The Viking Press, 1938. First Edition. Fine in blue cloth covered boards with gilt text stamping on the spine and front board. A small octavo measuring *" by 5 1/4". In a very good+, price clipped dust jacket with a 1/2 inch closed tear to the upper edge of the front panel and light wear and rubbing to the ends of the spine area. Reportedly the first printing of the book was restricted to only 10,000 copies. 549 pages with index, bibliography, chronology, text, maps and photographs throughout with the fold-out map of the state in a rear pocket of the book. A very tight and handsome copy with no prior ownership markings of any kind.
    TB33223  $125.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    Colby, Merle:  A Guide to Alaska Last American Frontier.  New York: The Macmillan Company, 1942, c.1939. Reprint of February, 1942. Good in dark blue cloth covered boards with gilt text stamping on the spine and front board and with illustrated end sheets. A small octavo measuring 8" by 5 1/4" with rubbing and fading to the cloth and with an over-tight front hinge. Although there is no definitive evidence, this may be an ex-library copy. Without its issued dust jacket. 427 pages including an index, text, maps, photographs and without the fold-out map in the pocket attached to the recto of the last free end page. One of the few volumes in the American Guide Series to carry a specific author's name.
    TB27101  $25.00




  • WPA:  Here's New England.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1939. First Edition, First printing. Very good+ in decorated red cloth covered boards with modest fading to the heel of the spine and the lower edge of the front board and with a gift inscription on the front free end paper and a prior owner's name on the front end paper. In a poor dust jacket with a 3/4" deep chip at the upper edge of the spine area which wraps around to the panels with numerous other small chips, wear, creasing and tears some of which have been repaired with tape. 122 pages including an index and illustrated with maps and two sections of black and white photographs.
    TB17301  $28.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Here's New England A Guide To Vacationland.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1939. First Edition. Near fine in decorated bright red-orange cloth covered boards with black text on the spine and front board. A small octavo measuring 8 by 5 3/8 with a prior owner's book plate on the first free end page and with mild dust staining to the top edge of the text block. In a very good+, unclipped dust jacket with shallow (1/8 inch) chipping across the upper edge of the spine area and a 1/4 inch closed tear at the upper edge of the fold to the front flap. 122 pages including an index and illustrated with maps and two sections of black and white photographs and with a multi-colored, fold-out map in the rear pocket which is in perfect condition. A handsome, tight, clean and collectible copy.
    TB32978  $75.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Illinois A Descriptive and Historical Guide.  Chicago: A. C. McClurg & Co., 1939. First Edition. Near fine in dark red buckram cloth covered boards with faded gilt text and decorations on the spine and front. front board. A small octavo of 8 by 5 1/4 inches. In only a good price clipped dust jacket due to a very large chip from the rear panel and 1/2 deep chips to the upper edge of the spine area, a 1/2 inch closed tear to the lower edge of the spine area and a 1/4 inch chip from the upper fore corner of the front panel. One of the volumes in the American Guide Series and one which is rather uncommon in jacket. 687 pages with index, chronology, bibliography, tours, 8 sections of photographs and the colored map in the rear end pocket.
    TB33225  $175.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Iowa A Guide to the Hawkeye State.  New York: The Viking Press, 1938. First Edition. Very good+ in green buckram covered boards with faded gilt text stampings on the spine and with foxing on the end sheets a result of the paper's reaction with the glue used in binding. Missing its issued dust jacket. 583 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, text and with maps and black and white photographs throughout with the fold-out, multi-color map (which is in fine condition) in the rear pocket of the book. An uncommon early title in the WPA's American Guide series.
    TB33227  $75.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Livingston The Story of a Community.  Livingston, NJ: Sponsored by the Township of Livingston, 1939. First Edition. Fine in red-brown cloth covered boards with gilt text on the spine and gilt text and a blind embossed seal on the front board. An octavo of 9 by 6 inches with illustrated end sheets. In a near fine, unclipped (no price) dust jacket with only a hint of wear to the upper edge of the spine area. 166 pages including an index, appendices and text. Illustrated with a section from black and white photographs and a map. Considered "scarce" by Dykes and Scharf/Schoyer. Indeed very uncommon in such nice condition. (Dykes, 197; Powell 992; Brewer, 692; Scharf/Schoyer, 377),
    TB33100  $65.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Maine A Guide Down East.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1937. First Edition. Very good+ in leather simulated green paper covered boards with gilt text on the spine and on the front board. The cloth of the spine is slightly soiled and the end sheets are foxed in the hinge areas due to a reaction with the glues used in binding and the edges of the text block are soiled. In avery good unclipped dust jacket with rubbing and flecking of the colors to the ends of the spine area and to the edges of the panels. One of the volumes in the American Guide Series. 476 pages with index, text, and illustrated with eight sections of black and white photographs. The fold-out map of Maine is in the rear pocket and is in very nice condition.
    TB33224  $125.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  A Maritime History of New York.  New York: Doubleday, Doran and Company, Inc., 1941. First Edition, First printing. Very good+ in light blue cloth covered boards with black and yellow text on the spine and a black sketch of Sandy Hook Lighthouse on the front board and with illustrated end sheets. An octavo measuring 8 1/4" by 5 1/2" with the cloth at the head and heel of the spine crimped, but otherwise undamaged. Without its issued dust jacket. With an introduction by Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia. 341 pages including an index, bibliography, and text. Illustrated with 16 black and white photographic reproductions and reproductions of earlier works of art. Considered "scarce" by Jeff Dykes (item 222) in his catalog and checklist of the American Guide Series.
    TB28600  $95.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  The Minnesota Arrowhead Country.  Chicago: Albert Whitman & Co., 1941. First Edition, First printing. Near fine in smooth green cloth covered boards with dark green text on the spine and on the front board with map end papers. A small octavo measuring 7 7/8 by 51/8 inches with moderate dust staining to the top edge of the text block. In a very good, price clipped dust jacket with 1/8 inch deep chipping across both the upper and lower edges of the spine area and two large chips from the rear panel. The contents are very clean, tight and free of any damage or prior ownership markings. Similar content to the American Guide Series for the state of Minnestoa. 231 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, glossary, industrial and commercial data for the state, text and illustrated with 44 black and white photographs in six sections and with four maps within the body of the text.
    TB31982  $85.00




  • WPA:  New Hampshire A Guide to the Granite State.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1938. First Edition. Very near fine in dark blue, simulated leather, cloth covered boards with gilt text stamping on the spine with map end sheets. A small octavo measuring 8 by 5 1/4 inches with the gilt text on the spine faded and front board faded and with a dated, gift inscription on the fly title page. In a very good-, price clipped dust jacket with 1/2 deep chipping across the upper edge of the spine area and 1/16 inch deep chipping across the lower edge of the same. There a numerous short closed tears around the edges of the panels. 559 pages with index, text, black and illustrated with eight sections of black and white photographs and a pocket on the rear end paper with the multi-color, fold-out map of the state within which is in fine condition. Overall a very nice, clean, tight and collectable copy with no prior ownership markings of any kind.
    TB32473  $125.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  New York Panorama.  New York: Random House, 1938. First Edition. Very good+ in dark blue cloth covered boards with faded gilt text and decorations on the spine and on the front board with illustrated end papers showing the five boroughs of New York with the gilt text on the spine faded. Without its issued dust jacket. "A comprehensive view of the Metropolis, Presented in a series of articles prepared by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration in New York City." Although considered a "companion" to the New York City Guide this was the first book of the two produced to create the complete WPA guide to New York. One of the earliest volumes in the American Guide Series. 526 pages with an index, text with eight sections of black and white photographs through-out the text.
    TB33228  $80.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  A Picture of Lycoming Copunty.  Williamsport: The Commissioners of Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, 1939. First Edition. Very good+ in blue cloth covered boards with little left of the gilt text on the spine and slightly slightly chipped gilt text stamped on the front board. A small octavo measuring 7 3/4 by 5 3/8 inches with light rubbing to the cloth at the head and heel of the spine. Without a dust jacket. 219 pages of text and black and white photographs followed by a one page bibliography. Considered "scarce" by Jeffery Dykes in his bibliography/catalog of the series. Currently there are no other copies presently on the Internet market. (Dykes: American Guide Series, 288)
    TB29147  $125.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  The Records of the Swedish Lutheran Churches At Raccoon And Penns Neck 1713-1786.  Elizabeth, New Jersey: New Jersey Commission to Commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the Settlement by the Swedes and Finns on the Delaware, 1938. First Edition. Near fine in blue cloth covered boards with gilt text on the spine. A small quarto of 9 1/8 by 6 inches with a prior owner's name on the first free end page. In a good-, unclipped dust jacket with a large four inch deep chip from the lower section of the front panel which extends onto the lower portion of the spin area. 387 pages including an index. Illustrated with a frontispiece from two black and white photographs. Jeff Dykes in his catalog/check list of the American Guide Series refers to this title as "scarce". (Dykes, American Guide Series, 202)
    TB31682  $125.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Rhode Island A Guide to the Smallest State.  Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1937. First Edition. Near fine in simulated red leather cloth covered boards with gilt text on the spine and on the front board. A small octavo of 8 by 5 1/2 inches with slight rubbing to the cloth at corners at the head and heel of the spine. A prior owner has placed a book plate upside down on the fly title page. In a good, price clipped dust jacket with heavy wear and chipping to the ends of the spine area, small chips from the fore corners of the panels over the tips of the boards, and multiple chips and closed tears to the rear panel. 500 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, tour guides, and illustrated with maps and eight sections of black and white photographs. The rear pocket on the rear end paper contains the multi-colored, fold-out map of the state which is in excellent condition.
    TB32370  $125.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    Federal Writers' Project of the WPA:  Stories Of New Jersey.  New York: M. Barrows And Company, 1938. First Edition, Possible second state binding. Very near fine in light blue cloth covered boards with yellow text on the spine and a partial map of New Jersey with place names on the front board together with the title. A small octavo of 7 1/2 by 5 inches. Without its issued dust jacket. 422 pages of text illustrated from black and white photographs throughout. "Compiled and Written by the Federal Writers' Project of the Works Progress Administration for the State of New Jersey". Jeff Dykes in his American Guide Series catalog states that this title is "quite scarce". (Dykes, 201; Powell, 1039; Scharf & Schoyer, 385)
    TB33010  $75.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  The Swedes and Finns in New Jersey.  n.p.: Sponsored by The New Jersey Commissionto Commemorate the 300th Anniversary of the Settlement by the Swedes and Finns on the Delaware, 1938. First Edition. Very good+ in royal blue ribbed cloth covered boards with tarnished gilt text stamping on the spine. The cloth at the head and heel of the spine is lightly rubbed and there is a prior owner's name on the upper fore corner of the first free end page. The end sheets are printed with a map of southern New Jersey. Without it issued dust jacket. A small 4to measuring 9 1/8 by 6 inches. One of the more unusual titles in the American Guide Series as noted on the title page.165 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, text and illustrated with black and white photographs throughout and map end papers.
    TB28672  $85.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Tales Of Pioneer Pittsburgh.  n.p.: William Penn Association, c1937. . Very good+ in self wraps over a stapled binding in heavy, printed orange paper covers. An octavo of 8 3/4 by 5 1/2 inches with light soiling to the front cover. without a dust jacket as issued. 28 pages of text followed by a one page bibliography. Illustrated with small vignettes at the bottom margins of the pages.
    TB31068  $40.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Washington City and Capital.  Washington, DC: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1937. First Edition. Near fine in heavy black cloth covered boards with gilt text on the spine and with illustrated map end sheets. A thick small quarto measuring 9 by 6 inches with no flaws of any kind. A copy which does not appear to have been read. In a good, unclipped dust jacket. There is a two inch deep chip at the upper edge of the spine area; 3/4 inch chips from the upper corners of the front and rear panels; shallow chipping from the lower edge of the spine area; and, heavy rubbing to the folds to the flaps. 1,141 pages including an index, bibliography, chronology, text and illustrated with maps and images from black and white photographs throughout. With both of the two multi-colored maps in the rear pocket (both of which are in fine condition). This was the second volume published in the American Guide Series and despite its first printing of 5,000 copies collectible copies with the maps are rather uncommon and to locate one in a dust jacket is nearly impossible.
    TB32607  $750.00



  • Click on Image to expand
    WPA:  Whaling Masters.  New Bedford, Mass.: Old Dartmouth Historical Society Whaling Museum, 1938. First Edition ("Reynolds Printing"), First printing. Very good in dark green cloth covered boards with gilt text stamping on the spine and front board. An octavo measuring 9 by 6 inches with rubbing and wear to the cloth at the ends of the spine area and a split to the cloth of the front joint which has been professionally repaired and with a prior owner's written notes in pencil at the top of the second free end page and with extensive penciled notes on the last free end pages. Without its issued dust jacket One of the most difficult titles to obtain in the WPA's American Guide Series. 314 pages with 3 illustrations. The book provides the most complete directory of Whaling Captains, their ships and voyages from every whaling port in the US. (Dykes, 143; Powell, 632)
    TB32812  $250.00






  • After you have checked off each book you wish to order (a mouse click in the small check box just above the author's name or book title will do it), please tap the ORDER button below.  You will then be taken to our secure server which will allow you to confirm the items you want and then enter the information to provide us with the details of your name, payment method and where the book(s) should be sent. 

    All books are returnable within 10 days from date of receipt; however, please call us first so that we understand your intentions.  

    Availability is subject to prior sale.