The Historical Records Survey
was created to inventory all county government records of each county in
the United States. It was started in January 1936 as a part of the
Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration, one of the
many government sponsored projects created to provide employment during
The survey had two purposes: to list manuscripts, church records, and public records in county offices in a reference volume for the use of county officials and the general public, and to locate, classify, and catalog all extant county and city records to make them more easily accessible to county officials, historians, and research workers.The Counties series is the largest series and includes forms, essays, maps, photographs, newspapers, and floor plans produced during the survey. Remember that the survey only surveyed existing records and did not collect them. The survey is a "snapshot" of what records existed and where they were stored during the late 1930s. Perhaps the most valuable part of the Counties series is the verbatim transcription of the county court record.
This series is arranged alphabetically by county. Each county is further subdivided into some or all of the following categories: buildings, church records, city records, county office records, general information, laws, lists, manuscripts, newspapers, paintings and statuary, maps and photographs, floor plans, publications, township records, and transcription of county court records.
These records are available at:
Western Historical Manuscript