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Emergency Relief Commission records

Identifier: RG032

Scope and Content

The record listed below are principally those of the Engineering Department (sometimes known as the Work Division), pertaining to work relief projects in the localities or in State Division), pertaining to work relief projects in the localities or in State Government agencies. The records were carefully prepared for preservation the Connecticut State Library as described in Experience of the Emergency Relief Commission, pp. 71-75. Local administrative records were apparently turned over to the town clerks (Ibid., p. 67), while substantial quantities of other materials appear to have been destroyed. Others may have been turned over to the Welfare Department (now Department of Social Services).


  • 1933-1937

Language of Materials

The records are in English.

Restrictions on Access

These records are stored at an off-site facility and therefore may not be available on a same-day basis.

See the Rules and Procedures for Researchers Using Archival Records and Secured Collections policy.

Historical Note

The Commission was created by an Act of the General Assembly (1933, Public Acts, Ch. 276), effective June 7, 1933. Although its functions were somewhat broader, it was clearly the successor to the Connecticut Unemployment Commission (RG 31) and its predecessor, the Connecticut State Emergency Committee on Employment. James W. Hook, Chairman of the two earlier agencies, was appointed a member of the new Commission, and Eleanor H. Little, former Research Secretary of Unemployment Commission, became the Executive Secretary and later Relief Administrator.

The Emergency Relief Commission had two main functions: To supervise emergency municipal finance and to supervise emergency unemployment relief. The first responsibility was in effect limited to the approval of local bond issues for relief purposes, which it did for Norwalk, Danbury, Westport and Waterbury. Its unemployment relief work was much more extensive, involving preparing requests for and administering Federal grants under the Federal Emergency Relief Act (May 1933), the Civil Works Administration (November 1933), the Commodity Relief Distribution program under the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (September 1933), the Civilian Conservation Corps program (April 1933) and several other smaller programs. Accounts of the activities in some detail may be found in the two published reports listed below under "Related Records". In the later pat of 1935 the work relief projects, which had been administered first under C.W.A. and then under E.R.A., were gradually turned over to the new Works Progress Administration. The Emergency Relief Commission itself continued until it terminated by limitation of statute on February 1, 1937.

See also the Emergency Relief Commission Agency History.


63.5 cubic feet


The General Assembly created the Emergency Relief commission in 1933 as a successor to the Connecticut State Emergency Committee on Employment and the Connecticut Unemployment Commission. It had two functions: approval of local municipal bonds for relief purposes and supervision of emergency unemployment relief projects.

RG 032, Emergency Relief Commission
Inventory of Records
Finding aid prepared by Connecticut State Library staff.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Connecticut State Library Repository