The Capra/Bailey Project is dedicated to
Professor Richard Weiss
Department of History, University of California, Los Angeles
The idea that has become this website has been on my mind since I first sat down to watch It’s a Wonderful Life over Thanksgiving in 1986. This fact makes the idea older than the medium through which it appears today. At that time, I was a graduate student at UCLA working under the guidance of Professor Richard Weiss, who introduced me to the Great Depression as a cultural event as well as an economic and political one. I earned extra money working as a grader for his five-hundred-student upper division survey course on the interwar years. In those years, the savings and loan crisis and the crisis in agriculture that inspired Farm Aid were right there as Professor Weiss talked about the misery, the emotions, and the toll of the Great Depression years. Had Weiss’s course not been so thoroughly on my mind in the mid-1980s, this website might not exist at all. So this site is warmly dedicated to Professor Weiss. That said, please do not hold him to account for anything I have said here—the opinions here are mine alone.
To the extent that the Capra/Bailey Project succeeds as a contribution to digital scholarship, it is because of the skill and expertise of Tara Carlisle, who is an integral member of the Digital Scholarship Lab of the University of Oklahoma Libraries. If it is less a contribution to digital scholarship than we hoped, this is because I remain, at this writing, a bit more in the last century than in the present one—but I am trying hard to get here.