At a Glance


Learn about New Deal-era planned communities through this collection of primary sources.

Department of American Studies, University of Maryland

Virtual Greenbelt: A Local History of Greenbelt, Maryland

Photo, Greenbelt Barbershop

A collaborative effort of the faculty and students in the Department of American Studies at the University of Maryland, this site provides images, interviews, and other materials on the history of Greenbelt, Maryland, a New-Deal-era planned community in the Washington, D.C. area. One of three planned garden towns built during Franklin Roosevelt's presidency, Greenbelt was designed to provide affordable housing in a pleasant setting. The site features five oral history interview texts and excerpts from eight other interviews about Greenbelt during World War II. It includes over 80 photographs of the interior and furnishings of the Greenbelt Museum, a restored house furnished with objects from 1936-1946, as well as over 50 images of community businesses, schools, social and recreational activities from the 1930s through the 1950s. Roughly 60 online papers written by University of Maryland undergraduates are included as well. This easily navigated site offers an index for images and online papers. A good site for local and history project ideas and for studying material and consumer culture of the mid-20th century.