Kansas Dust Bowl
Abandoned house, Haskell County, Kansas. By Irving Rusinow, April 1941. National Archives and Records Administration, Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics.

Life During the Dust Bowl

Federal Sources

Voices from the Dust Bowl
Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of residents of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941. This collection consists of audio recordings, photographs, manuscript materials, publications, and ephemera and is a part of the Library of Congress American Memory project.
20th Century Drought
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) created a site using paleoclimatic data, such as studies of tree rings, to study the frequency of past severe droughts in North America and predict the likelihood of such droughts in the future.
NOAA Photo Library
NOAA's Photo Library has an image of a 1935 dust storm in Texas in the Meteorological Monsters: Dust collection of their National Weather Service Collection . Another photo shows 1930s western U.S. homes overshadowed by a massive dust storm.
California Odyssey Project and Dust Bowl Migration Archives
A collection of "fifty-seven oral history interviews that developed from the CALIFORNIA ODYSSEY Project's Oral History Program funded in 1980 by the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). The interviews focus on residents who migrated to the San Joaquin Valley from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas between 1924 and 1939." Also has photographs.
The Plow That Broke the Plains
A 25-minute documentary produced in 1936 for the Farm Security Administration to justify New Deal programs that aided farmers hit hard by the Dust Bowl. Contains compelling, historical video clips of the devastation.

Texas Sources

The Handbook of Texas Online: Dust Bowl
In-depth article, with bibliography, on the weather and market forces that combined to create the Dust Bowl in Texas and the U.S. government response to the problem. At its height, the bowl covered 100 million acres of the southern plains.

Additional Sources

Report of the Great Plains Drought Area Committee
From HathiTrust. This 1936 document discusses the events that led to the occurrence of the Dust Bowl and was submitted to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Surviving the Dust Bowl
PBS Online has an interactive site for its American Experience show "Surviving the Dust Bowl." Watch the entire film or link to special features that include a timeline and a photo gallery from an eyewitness account of a Kansas farmer. "Dust Bowl Days" lesson plans for students in grades 3-5 is available from the National Endowment for the Humanities. Refresh main web page to see a rotating display of special features.
Dust Storms and Their Damage
An archive of dust storm photographs online.
Postcards of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl
From the Kansas Historical Society. Collection includes postcards of dust storms.
Dust Bowl
Collection of photographs from a variety of sources taken during the dust storms of the 1930s.

Wind Erosion, Drought, and Water Conservation

Federal Sources

What is Drought?
Extensive site, from the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, describing drought and how to plan for, monitor, and mitigate it. Includes sections on The Dust Bowl and Historical Maps of the Palmer Drought Index.
An Introduction to Wind Erosion Control
Recommendations from the Alberta (Canada) Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Department on controlling wind erosion.
U.S. Drought Monitor
The National Drought Mitigation Center displays maps that show current drought situations in the U.S.
Wind Erosion & Water Conservation (USDA)
Agriculture Department unit, located in Lubbock and Big Spring, which "conducts applied and fundamental research on the causes and consequences of wind-induced soil erosion, and the interactions of plants with the soil and atmosphere; to develop wind erosion mitigation strategies and water management strategies that alleviate, delay, or moderate the impact of drought and thermal stress on crop production."
Operational Significant Event Imagery: A History (NOAA)
Includes archived satellite images of dust storms in regions of the U.S. and across the world.

Texas Sources

Texas Water Development Board: Drought in Texas
Includes links to information about drought, drought monitoring, outlook and historical data, water-saving tips, and other drought resources.
High Plains Underground Water Conservation District
Promotes groundwater conservation to area businesses, homeowners, producers, researchers, and others for 16 counties in the Texas Panhandle. Includes maps, conservation tips, reports, and information on water use.
Panhandle Groundwater District
Goal is to preserve 50 percent of current water supplies in its district for 50 years from now. Serves Carson, Donley, Gray, Roberts and Wheeler Counties, along with parts of Armstrong, Hutchinson and Potter Counties. Newsletter has annual detailed water level information.
Texas Alliance for Water Conservation
Collaborates to promote profitable crop and livestock systems that can also extend the life of the Ogallala Aquifer. Supports the counties of Floyd, Hale, Lamb, Lubbock, Crosby, Castro, Parmer, Swisher, and Deaf Smith.

Woody Guthrie

Official Woody Guthrie Website
Includes biography, discography, filmography, archival finding aids, etc. Selected images are available, such as the drawing "Amarillo Dust Storm" and an original draft of Guthrie's lyrics for The Great Dust Storm (written after his experience in Pampa, Texas).
Woody Guthrie
From PBS. Brief biography of the "Dust Bowl Troubadour," from The Dust Bowl/A Film by Ken Burns.
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