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Oral history interview with Paul Vanderbilt, 1964 November 10

Vanderbilt, Paul, 1905-1992

Curator, Photographer, Librarian


Collection Information

Size: 27 Pages, Transcript

Format: Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 38 min.

Summary: An interview of Paul Vanderbilt conducted 1964 November 10, by Richard Doud, for the Archives of American Art.
Vanderbilt speaks of his background and education in art history at Harvard, his work with books and in libraries before getting involved with the Farm Security Administration project; starting with the FSA and developing a plan to get its work organized; the goals and philosophies of the FSA, and the realities of its accomplishments; what the photographs produced by the project say about America; and the project's relevance to current times. He recalls Edwin Rosskam and Roy Stryker.

Biographical/Historical Note

Paul Vanderbilt (1905-1992) was a librarian and archivist from Madison and Middleton, Wisconsin.


This interview conducted as part of the Archives of American Art's New Deal and the Arts project, which includes over 400 interviews of artists, administrators, historians, and others involved with the federal government's art programs and the activities of the Farm Security Administration in the 1930s and early 1940s.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.

How to Use This Collection

Transcript: 35mm microfilm reel 3697 available at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan.

Quotes and excerpts must be cited as follows: Oral history interview with Paul Vanderbilt, 1964 November 10. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.