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Record Group Number: 000198
Series/Collection Number: .S 2382
Creator: State Library of Florida.
Title, Dates: Florida Merchant Marine Survey files, 1936-1939.
Amount: 3 cubic ft.
Medium Included:
Organization/Arrangement: Numerological by chapter.
Terms Governing Use:
Biographical/Historical:     The Florida Merchant Marine Survey began as part of a larger project, the Historic American Merchant Marine Survey, sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute and funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) from April 1936 to October 1937. The Florida portion of the Historic American Merchant Marine Survey began in 1936 with engineer H. Leighton Long of Jacksonville as its director. Field offices were established at Miami, Jacksonville, Tampa and Pensacola, with another opening later in Key West. About 50 workers staffed the project at its peak, but that number dropped to 15 toward the end of 1936. The Florida crew surveyed more than 50 vessels, a significant portion of the 426 total surveys completed nationwide.

    Federal funding for the survey ended in October 1937, but H. Leighton Long was able to keep the Florida portion going by convincing the Florida division of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP) to adopt it as one of their own programs and the State Library Board replaced the Smithsonian as the sponsor. Work continued under this new arrangement until June 1, 1939, when FWP funding for the survey ran out. The staff applied for a six-month extension of the program, but to no avail.

Summary:     This series documents the work of the Florida Merchant Marine Survey, a project funded by the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the Great Depression. The objective of the survey was to trace the history of shipping and shipbuilding in Florida using information about both active and defunct vessels. Federal funding for the survey ended in 1939 before the survey could be published as a book, but the incomplete manuscript and a significant amount of data regarding historic watercraft in Florida were transferred to the State Library. This series consists of the complete and incomplete drafts of the manuscript chapters, which include photographs and architectural drawings of various watercrafts, as well as a sketchbook of boats, captains, rigging and other maritime subjects by renowned artist Philip Ayer Sawyer.

Finding Aids: Folder listing available. 0
Additional Physical Form: This series has been digitized and is available on the Florida Memory web site:
Reproduction Note:
Location of Originals/Duplicates:
Associated Materials: Series S 1654, State Library Project papers, and S 1505, State Librarian William T. Cash administrative files, contain more information on the State Library Board's activities with the Federal Works Progress Administration (WPA).
Language Notes:
Ownership/Custodial History:
Publication Note:
General Note:
Electronic Records Access:
Subject Access Fields: United States. Work Projects Administration.
State Library of Florida.
Florida. Dept. of Agriculture.
Florida. State Land Office.
Boatbuilding Florida
Boats and boating Florida
New Deal, 1933-1939.
Surveyors Florida
Surveys. aat
Tallahassee (Fla.)
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