Teachers Guide and BibliographyFrances Perkins

Our Virtual Tour Study Guide


Primary and Secondary Source Material on Frances Perkins


American Jewish History – Frances Perkins and the German-Jewish Refugees

Columbia University’s Oral History from FP

Exhibit at Columbia’s Rare Book and Manuscipt Library

Cornell University, ILR School – Triangle Shirtwaist Fire

Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project at GWU

George Mason University history course – letters to FP

Homestead, PA’s historic marker for FP

Mount Holyoke College’s Frances Perkins Program

NPR – Penny Colman and Linda Wertheimer – Remembering Social Security’s Forgotten Shepherd

Social Security Administration – Committee on Economic Security Report

Social Security Administration – who’s who at the signing of the Social Security Act of 1935

U.S. Department of Labor essay on the New Deal & WWII period (1933 – 1945)

Wikipedia entry on Frances Perkins


Documents Related to Frances Perkins’ Career

Factory investigating Committee records at the New York State archives

President Carter’s dedication statement in 1980

Wirtz Library at the Department of Labor


Audio Files

FP’s 1964 lecture at Cornell and others’ oral histories on the Triangle Factory Fire

FP’s remarks at the 25th anniversary (1960) of Social Security

FP’s 1935 radio address: Should we plan for Social Security?

FP’s 1962 speech “Roots of Social Security” at SSA headquarters

FP’s remarks on the importance of the IBM machine – about one minute*


Videos Related to Frances Perkins’ Career

Video of FP’s life by Vineyard Video

Kirstin Downey on the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire – American Experience, PBS

Kirstin Downey talking about her book, The Woman Behind the New Deal on Thirteen, WNET NYC


Collections of Frances Perkins’ Papers

Frances Perkins Collection – Mount Holyoke College

Finding Aid to Frances Perkins Collection — Columbia University


Selected Biographical Pieces about Frances Perkins

Obituary – The New York Times, Author unknown

Frances Perkins’s Career Memorialized by Charles Wyzanski, May 15, 1965

“The Frances Perkins I Knew” by Christopher N. Breiseth

“Frances Perkins: Private Faith, Public Policy” by Michelle Kew

Cornell University, ILR School – Who was Frances Perkins?

Social Security Administration’s background on Frances Perkins

U.S. Department of Labor biography

The Anglican Examiner presents The New York Anglicans: Twenty Who Shaped the Twentieth Century feat. Frances Perkins

The Woman Nobody Knows by Jerry Kluttz and Herbert Asbury


Written by Frances Perkins

Al Smith: hero of the cities: A political portrait drawing on the papers of Frances Perkins by Matthew Josephson

The Roosevelt I Knew by Frances Perkins, 1947

People at Work by Frances Perkins, 1934

Social Security Administration – Committee on Economic Security Report



The Woman Behind the New Deal, by Kirstin Downey, 2009

Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet Member, by Emily Keller, 2006

Frances Perkins: Champion of the New Deal, by Naomi Pasachoff, 2000

A Woman Unafraid: The Achievements of Frances Perkins, by Penny Colman, 1993

Frances Perkins: That Woman in FDR’s Cabinet, by Lillian Holmen Mohr, 1979

Madam Secretary Frances Perkins: by George Martin, 1976

Frances Perkins: A member of the Cabinet, by Bill Severn, 1976

Frances Perkins, First Lady of the Cabinet, by Don Lawson, 1966


Other Websites of Interest

National New Deal Preservation Association

Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site

Home of Franklin Delano Roosevelt National Historic Site

Roosevelt Campobello International Park