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About the New Deal Network

Mural

In October, 1996, the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI), in collaboration with the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Marist College, and IBM, launched the New Deal Network (NDN), a research and teaching resource on the World Wide Web devoted to the public works and arts projects of the New Deal. NDN is now based at the Institute for Learning Technologies (ILT) at Columbia University.

NDN seeks to make the most of the interactive, communications and publication capacities of the Internet. Its designers intend to bring many different institutions and individuals into the ongoing construction of the site and to stimulate students and historians throughout the United States to discover and document the human and material legacy of the New Deal.

At the core of the NDN (http://newdeal.feri.org) is a database of photographs, political cartoons, and texts (speeches, letters, and other historic documents from the New Deal period). Currently there are over 20,000 items in this database, many of them previously accessible only to scholars. Unlike many databases on the Web, which represent the holdings of a particular institution, NDN is drawing from a wide variety of sources around the country to create a theme-based archive.

Every few months the staff adds new "Features" which explore New Deal topics. Many of these features include curriculum ideas designed especially for middle and high school teachers and students. Students at any level will find the site an invaluable resource for research projects on the Depression and the New Deal. In addition, NDN invites teachers and students to document WPA and CCC projects in their communities and to report their findings by producing their own Web pages linked to NDN.

Our plan is to create a network of institutions and individuals studying the Depression and the New Deal and to incorporate or link contributions developed by students, historians, and other institutions to NDN. By employing the Internet in this manner, we will be creating a national learning community on the history of the New Deal period which will have both educational and policy-making value.

The NDN staff consists of Project Director, who serves as the Project Director and web developer. David Woolner, Executive Director of FERI, acts as Executive Producer.