The production of Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929 was made possible with the support of Laurance S. and Mary French Rockefeller.
The collection's initial development took place in 1994-95 as part of the American Memory pilot project. Carl Fleischhauer, American Memory Coordinator, guided the digital collection from conception to realization. Senior research consultant Carren O. Kaston defined the collection's scope and themes, selected the materials for inclusion, and drafted the introductory and explanatory notes. Library consultant Emily Lind Baker served as the project's production manager and associate researcher. LeeEllen Friedland coordinated the paper scanning and text conversion with the scanning contractor. Judith Davis of Systems Integration Group handled production for the contractor. Janice Hyde performed additional research. Pirkko Johnes and Marilyn Majeska assisted with preparation of materials and quality review. Steven C. McCollum updated the photograph records and directed the final quality review. Tamara Swora-Gober and Randolf M. Wells oversaw microfilm digitization and quality review. Myron B. Chace, Jr. of the Photoduplication Service arranged to produce scanning copies of several problematic documents. Guidance and support were also provided by Jane Bossert, Ricky Erway, and Elaine Woods.
Six historians served as project advisers. Susan Porter Benson, University of Connecticut at Storrs, is a historian of early department stores, gender and labor history, working-class consumption, and the family economy in the 1920s and 1930s. Presidential historian Robert Ferrell, professor emeritus, Indiana University at Bloomington, recently published an account of the presidency of Calvin Coolidge. James Flink, professor emeritus, University of California at Irvine, is a specialist in automotive history and technology. Ellis Hawley, professor emeritus, University of Iowa, has devoted much of his career to the economic and cultural history of 1920s America. Susan Smulyan, Brown University, specializes in the early history of radio, its technology and business context, and in mass-mediated popular culture and advertising. Joe William Trotter, Carnegie Mellon University, is a scholar of African American economic and labor history of the first half of the twentieth century. The project also received the invaluable assistance of Library of Congress Manuscript Division historians John Haynes and Marvin Kranz.
The development of the collection benefitted from the contributions of a number of Library of Congress reference librarians and curators. A special debt of gratitude is owed to Mary Wolfskill, head of the Manuscript Reading Room, and to all the Reading Room staff, with special thanks to Fred Bauman; to Mary Ison, head of the Prints and Photographs Reading Room, and to Prints and Photographs Division specialists and staff, among them Bernard Reilly, Barbara Natanson, and Sarah Rouse. Thanks are also extended to specialists and staff of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division, especially Samuel Brylawski, Gene DeAnna, Patrick Loughney, and Madeline Matz. They represent many more who gave of their time and expertise along the way.
The collection was brought to completion in 1998-99 by the National Digital Library Program. At this time, the motion pictures were transferred to video and the digital video files were produced by Marc Dudley and by Karen Lund of the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division. A new scanning project for copy photographs in the Prints and Photographs Division afforded an opportunity to rescan the collection's still photographs, an undertaking overseen by Phil Michel. Meanwhile, the computer storage system used for the estimated thirty-five thousand digital files in the collection was rationalized by Elizabeth Madden, who also assisted with the management of the bibliographic records and other production databases. Thomas H. Bramel helped secure the audio files.
The inclusion of unpublished manuscripts and published books and periodicals from the late 1920s and early 1930s meant that Prosperity and Thrift required a special effort to ensure that there were no copyright infringements. The examination of materials began under Carl Fleischhauer's guidance in 1995, with key roles in preparation and analysis played by Karen Billett and by James Roberts of the Reference and Bibliography Section, Copyright Office. A second phase of the effort in 1998-99 was managed by Melissa Smith Levine, ably assisted by Deborah Thomas. Important contributions were made by Eric Orr, who created a database of correspondence in the manuscript file folders, and Barak Stussman, who oversaw the preparation and mailing of dozens of letters to persons whose correspondence had been digitized. The effort was also assisted by Daphne Hawkins, Emily Howie, Shirley Liang, Christopher Pohlhaus, and Salwa Samaan.
Developments in the World Wide Web necessitated changes in the organization and presentation of Prosperity and Thrift. Steven C. McCollum coordinated the team responsible for the final effort of upgrading the digital files and editing the introductory materials. The members of the team were Martha Anderson, Emily Lind Baker, Jeff Finlay, Carl Fleischhauer, Jurretta Jordan Heckscher, Elizabeth Madden, Elisabeth Higgins Null, Deborah Thomas, and Barak Stussman. Jan Lancaster and Shirley Liang contributed to the annotations. Nancy Eichacker, Operations Manager, NDLP, supervised the last stages of the collection. David Michener of the Social Science Cataloging Division edited the bibliographic records that had been created for the digital collection.
Glenn Ricci designed the collection for the World Wide Web, building upon his 1995 experience in preparing a preview of the collection for a Library symposium devoted to Calvin Coolidge. Web site programming was provided by David Woodward and Mary Ambrosio of the Library's Information Technology Services.