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From 1936 to 1938, the Works Projects Administration (WPA) commissioned writers to collect the life histories of former slaves. This work was compiled under the Franklin Roosevelt administration during the New Deal and economic relief and recovery program. Each entry represents an oral history of a former slave or a descendant of a former slave and his or her personal account of life during slavery and emancipation. These interviews were published as type written records that were difficult to read. This new edition has been enlarged and enhanced for greater legibility. No library collection in Virginia would be complete without a copy of Virginia Slave Narratives.