Feb 04, 2021 - Sale 2557

Sale 2557 - Lot 179

Price Realized: $ 3,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,200 - $ 1,800


Complete set of the WPA state guides.
49 volumes (the 48 states plus the territory of Alaska). 8vo, original cloth, various conditions; 15 with original dust jackets. Vp, 1937-69 (bulk 1937-43)Vp, 1937-69 (bulk 1937-43)

Additional Details

John Steinbeck, upon departing in 1960 on the cross-country trip described in his Travels with Charley, wrote "If there had been room . . . I would have packed the W.P.A. Guides to the States, all forty-eight volumes of them. . . . The complete set comprises the most comprehensive account of the United States ever got together, and nothing since has even approached it."

This set was gathered by the consignor from bookshops over the course of several decades from the late 1950s to the early 1980s. 36 of the volumes have maps, while most of the others were issued without them; the Washington volume is lacking its original map. Not all of the volumes are in bibliophilic condition, and they are a mix of first and later editions. However, we know of no other complete sets which have appeared at auction.