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Edmon Low Library

Bibliography of the Dust Bowl Era

Bibliography of the Dust Bowl Era

In the course of compiling the following bibliography, it soon became evident that the Dust Bowl was fertile ground for research. For this reason, it was felt that sub-groupings might be more helpful to future researchers. Much of the bibliography was obtained by consulting Worldcat®. After being supplied with ample sources, it was a relatively simple matter to subdivide the offerings into pertinent topic headings such as the depression, droughts, biographies, documentary photography, and historical film and sound. Other relevant topics include environmental, economic, and social conditions, migrant labor, and geography.

Other areas not immediately considered offered an abundance of sources. The journals and diaries of individuals who lived through the period, fiction, and juvenile literature supplemented an already burgeoning amount of information. As with any topic of historical importance, theses, dissertations, interviews, and internet resources led to even more “discoveries.” The H. H. Finnell Collection housed in the Special Collections and University Archives of the Edmon Low Library at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma contains research findings, publications, and photographs assembled by Henry Howard Finnell, noted agronomist and erosion specialist. The archival material of John Adriance and Sons that includes correspondence, estate papers, leases and other information about conditions in west Texas in the 1930s can be found at the Rosenberg Library in Galveston, Texas. Voices of the Dust Bowl: The Charles Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection is another valuable research tool, documenting the everyday life of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant workers in work camps in central California. It is located at

For the more romantic researcher, the folk songs of Woody Guthrie or a viewing of the film The Grapes of Wrath might be of interest. The time period covered by the Dust Bowl bibliography begins with the decade of the 1930s up to the present. It also includes ecological and environmental material that asks the question, “Could it happen again?”


Adriance, John and Son’s Archival Material: Records, 1905-1936. Material includes correspondence, receipts, contracts, statements, estate papers, and leases relating to oil and gas exploration in southeast Texas in the early 1900s through the Dust Bowl conditions in west Texas in the 1930s. Housed in Rosenberg Library, Galveston. Texas, Accession Number 28418333.

California Odyssey: Dust Bowl Migration Archives includes oral history interviews, a bibliography and related links.  Interviews focus on residents who migrated to the San Joaquin Valley from Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri, and Kansas between 1924 and 1939.  Housed at California State University-Bakersfield and available online.

H. H. Finnell Papers, 1928-1960. Collection includes research findings, correspondence, publications, and photographs of Henry Howard Finnell (1894-1960), agronomist, and erosion specialist. Subjects include soil conservation and the dust bowl. Housed in Special Collections University Archives, Edmon Low Library, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater campus.

Voices from the Dust Bowl: The Charles L. Todd and Robert Sonkin Migrant Worker Collection is an online presentation of a multi-format ethnographic field collection documenting the everyday life of Farm Security Administration (FSA) migrant workers in work camps in central California in 1940 and 1941. Part of the Library of Congress American Memory Project, it consists of administrative correspondence, publications, manuscript materials, news clippings, field notes, song text transcriptions, photographs, and approximately eighteen hours of audio recordings.

Davidson, James Alfred. Patches on my Britches: Memories of Growing up in the Dust Bowl. Bloomington, IN.: 1st Books Library, 1998.

Dyck, Mary Knackstedt and Pamela Riney-Kehrberg. Waiting on the Bounty: The Dust Bowl Diary of Mary Knackstedt Dyck. Iowa City.

Henderson, Caroline A. and Alvin O. Turner. Letters from the Dust Bowl. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001.

Janke, Katelan. Survival in the Storm: The Dust Bowl Diary of Grace Edwards. New York: Scholastic Press, 2002.

Low, Ann Marie. Dust Bowl Diary. Lincoln: University Press of Nebraska, 1984.

Revard, Carter. Winning the Dust Bowl. Tucson: University of Arizona Press, 2001.

Rutland, Robert Allen. A Boyhood in the Dust Bowl, 1926-1934. Niwot, Colo.: University Press of Colorado, 1995.

Curtis, James. Mind’s Eye, Mind’s Truth: FSA Photography Reconsidered. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989.

Drain, Margaret, et al. Surviving the Dust Bowl. Alexandria, VA: PBS Home Video, 1998.

Ganzel, Bill. Dust Bowl Descent. Lincoln: University Press of Nebraska, 1984.

Peeler, David P. Hope Among Us Yet: Social Criticism and Social Solace in Depression America. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1987.

Bonnifield, Mathew Paul. The Dust Bowl: Men, Dirt, and Depression. Albuquerque:University of New Mexico Press, 1979.

Hansen, Zeynep Kocabiyik and Gary D. Libecap. Small Farms, Externalities, and the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Cambridge: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2003.

Hull, William. The Dirty Thirties: Tales of the Nineteen Thirties during which Occurred a great Drought, a Lengthy Depression and the era Commonly Called the Dust Bowl Years. Edna, Minn.: W. H. Hull, 1989.

Hurt, R. Douglass. Problems of Plenty: The American Farmer in the Twentieth Century. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2002.

Leuchtenburg, William E. Franklin D. Roosevelt and the New Deal, 1932-1940. New York: Harper & Row, 1963.

Worster, Donald. Dust Bowl: The Southern Plains in the 1930s. New York: Oxford University Press, 1979.

Wunder, John R. and Francis W. Kaye. Americans View their Dust Bowl Experience. Niwot, Colo.: University Press of Colorado

Blouet, Brian W. and Frederick C. Luebke. The Great Plains: Environment and Culture. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1979.

Cunfer, Geoff. On the Great Plains: Agriculture and Environment. College Station: Texas A & M University Press, 2005.

Hibbs, Ben. “The Dust Bowl Can Be Saved,” Readers Digest Vol. 32, no. 190 (February 1938).

Lookingbill, Brad D. Dust Bowl, USA: Depression America and the Ecological Imagination, 1929-1941. Athens: Ohio University Press, 2001.

Sherow, James Earl. A Sense of the American West. An Anthology of Environmental History. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998.

Skinner, Brian J. Use and Misuse of Earth’s Surface: Readings from American Scientist. Los Altos, CA: W. Kaufmann, 1981.

Walker, Robert and Doug Peterson. From Dust Bowl to Mud Bowl: The Erosion Problem. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: College of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, 1982.

Worster, Donald. The Wealth of Nature: Environmental History and the Ecological Imagination. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

Guthrie, Woody. This Land is Your Land. Boston: Little, Brown, 1998.

Guthrie, Woody. Woody Guthrie Folk Songs. New York: Ludlow Music, 1963.

Guthrie, Woody. Dust Bowl Ballads. New York: Buddha Records, 1940.

Guthrie, Woody, Harold Leventhal, and Marjorie Guthrie. The Woody Guthrie Songbook. New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1976.

Moore, David. Oral History Interview with Isla Barbee. [Non-musical Recording]. Oklahoma State University: Oral History Seminar, 1993.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings: 1936-1941.  New York: Penguin Books, 1996.

Zanuck, Darryl F.  The Grapes of Wrath. [Video recording].  Los Angeles: Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, 1997.

Berglund, Lee. Wheat Belt Route: The Story of a Dust Bowl Railroad. David City, Neb.: South Platte Press, 1998.

Hawks, Tod R. Kansas and the Dust Bowl Dilemma: The 1930’s and Before. New York: Columbia College, 1965.

Johnson, Vance. Heaven’s Tableland: The Dust Bowl Story. New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 1947.

Lauber, Patricia. Dust Bowl: The Story of Man on the Great Plains. New York: Coward McCann, 1958.

Logsdon, Guy William. The Dust Bowl and the Migrant. Tulsa: Thomas Gilcrease Institute of American History and Art, 1971.

Riney-Kehrberg, Pamela. Rooted in Dust: Surviving Drought and Depression in Southwestern Kansas. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1994.

Rutherford, Harold J. Dustbowl to Paradise: Eastern Colorado to Frisco, Colorado: Harold’s Humorous History. Federal heights, CO.: Ten Mile Pub., 2000.

Stanley, Ellen May. Golden Age, Great Depression, and Dust Bowl. Newton, KS: Mennonite Press, Inc., 2001.

Svobida, Lawrence. Farming the Dust Bowl: A First Hand Account from Kansas. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1986.

Cooke, Morris Llewellyn. Report of the Great Plains Drought Area Committee, August,1936. New York: New Deal Network. [Internet Resource].

Enfolder, Linda. Representing the Truth in Black and White: American Dust Bowl Migrants in Fiction and Photography. [Internet Resource]. [9/29/06].

Gazit, Chana, producer. “Surviving the Dust Bowl,” The American Experience series.  [Internet Resource].

Ganzel, Bill. Wessels Living History Farm: The Dust Bowl. [Internet Resource].

Library of Congress. America's Story: The Dust Bowl of Oklahoma. [Internet Resource].

Andryszewski, Tricia. The Dust Bowl: Disaster on the Plains.

Booth, David and Karen Reczuch. The Dust Bowl. Buffalo: Kids Can Press, 1997.

Coombs, Karen Mueller. Children of the Dust Days. Minneapolis: Carolrhoda, 2000.

Cooper, Michael L. Dust to Eat: Drought and Depression in the 1930s. New York: Clarion Books, 2004.

Connell, Kate. Hoping for Rain: The Dust Bowl Adventures of Patty and Earl Buckler. Washington D. C.: National Geographic, 2004.

DeAngelis, Therese and Gina DeAngelis. The Dust Bowl. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2002.

Farris, John and Maurie Manning. The Dust Bowl. San Diego: Lucent Books, 1989.

Hesse, Karen. Out of the Dust. New York: Scholastic Press, 1999.

King, David C. ed. The Dust Bowl. Carlisle, MA: Discovery Enterprises, Ltd. 1997.

Levey, Richard H. Dust Bowl! : The 1930s Black Blizzards. New York: Bearport Pub., 2005.

Marrin, Albert. Years of Dust: The Story of the Dust Bowl. New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 2009.

Moss, Marissa. Rose’s Journal: The Story of a Girl in the Great Depression. San Diego: Silver Whistle/Harcourt, 2001.

Myers, Anna. Red Dirt Jessie. New York: Puffin Books, 1997.

Price, Sean. The Dirty Thirties: Documenting the Dust Bowl. Chicago: Raintree, 2007.

Raven, Margot Theis and Roger Essley. Angels in the Dust. Mahwah, NJ: BridgeWater Books, 1997.

Slade, Arthur G. Dust. New York: Wendy Lamb Books, 2003

Turner, Ann Warren and Robert Barrett.  Dust for Dinner. New York: HarperCollins, 1995.

Babb, Sanora. Whose Names are Unknown. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004.

Carlile, Clark S. Till the Grass Grows Green. Pocatello, ID: The Author, 1999.

Gassett, John D. Little John: The Webb City Kid. Tulsa: Gassett, 1999.

Herr, Melody. Summer of Discovery. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2006.

Johnson, Josephine Winslow. Now in November. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1934.

Lanham, Edwin. The Stricklands. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1939.

Mick, Lee. Below the Horizon. Bloomington, IN: Author House, 2005.

Peery, Janet. What the Thunder Said. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2007.

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath and Other Writings: 1936-1941.  New York: Penguin Books, 1996.

Thompson, Jim. Roughneck. New York: Vantage Books, 1954. Williams, Jeanne. The Longest Road. New York: St. Martin’s, 1993.

Wright, Barbara. Plain Language. Prince Frederick, MD., 2003.

Durbin, William. The Journal of C. J. Jackson: A Dust Bowl Migrant. New York: Scholastic Press, 2002.

Gregory, James N. American Exodus: The Dust Bowl Migration and Okie Culture in California. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.

McWilliams, Carey. Ill Fares the Land: Migrants and Migratory Labor in the United States. New York: Barnes & Noble, Inc., 1941.

Meltzer, Milton. Driven from the Land: The Story of the Dust Bowl. New York: Benchmark Books, 2000.

Shindo, Charles J. Dust Bowl Migrants in the American Imagination. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 1997.

Stanley, Jerry. Children of the Dust Bowl: The True Story of the School at Weedpatch Camp. New York: Trumpet Club, 1993.

Stein, Walter J. California and the Dust Bowl Migration. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press: 1973.

Lloyd, Linda Mercer. Five Great Weather Disasters. [Videorecording]. Stamford, CT: ABC Video, 1996.

Smith, Howard Everett. Killer Weather: Stories of Great Disasters. New York: Dodd, Mead, and Company, 1982.

Spignesi, Stephen J. The 100 Greatest Disasters of all Time. New York: Citadel Press, 2002.

Carrozza, Carl. The Dust Bowl: The History, Ecology, and Echoes of 1930s America. Princeton Junction: Thoughtful Education Press, 1995.

Egan, Timothy. The Worst Hard Time: The Untold Story of Those Who Survived The Great American Dustbowl. New York: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006.

Hurt, R. Douglas. The Dust Bowl: An Agricultural and Social History.  Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1981.

Isaacs, Sally Senzell. Life in the Dust Bowl. Chicago: Heinemann, 2002.

McArthur, Debra. The Dust Bowl and the Depression in American History. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 2002.

McElvaine, Robert S. The Depression and New Deal: A History in Documents. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Yancey, Diane. Life during the Dust Bowl. San Diego: Lucent Books, 2004.

Chisholm, Margo Lee. “Creation of the Dust Bowl Image.” M. A. thesis, Louisiana State University, 1987.

Dorrill, Lisa. “Picturing the Dirty Thirties: Painting and Prints of the Dust Bowl,” Ph. D. diss., University of Kansas, 1998.

Floyd, Fred. A History of the Dust Bowl. M. A. thesis, Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1950.

Jennings, Melanie S. “Writing from the Fields: Dust Bowl Okie Literature,” Ph. D. diss., University of California, San Diego, 2000.

Lookingbill, Brad D. “In God We Trust: The Fundamentalist Culture in the Dust Bowl Environment,” M. A. thesis, University of Toledo, 1993.

Porter, Jess Christian. “Public Perception and Knowledge of the Dust Bowl as Region, Era, and Event,” Ph.D. diss. Oklahoma State University, 2007.

Riney-Kehrberg. “In God We Trusted, In Kansas We Busted--Again: A Social History of Dust Bowl Kansas,” Ph.D. diss. University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1991.

Ware, James Wesley. “Black Blizzard: The Dust Bowl of the 1930s. Ph. D. diss, Oklahoma State University, 1977.

Yanke, Hannah R. “Dust Bowl,” M. A. thesis, University of Denver, 1946.

~Prepared by Charles Buckner, under contract for the Oklahoma State University Library, November 2006. Revised and updated by Jennifer Paustenbaugh October 2009.

Oklahoma Oral History Research Program
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Oklahoma State University
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