Roads have not developed by accident; the general course of all routes of importance has been worn by the movement of large numbers of people who wanted to go from one place to another. Many routes were developed by migrating hordes. Thus the tour route is often a thread on which a narrative can be built, with history, from the days of Indian occupation of the country to the present, told in geographical rather than topical or chronological sequence. The social, economic, cultural, and political histories of towns along routes are related to the history of the route itself and most points of interest are closely related to the main theme.

- (Katherine Kellock, National Tours Editor*)

The passage quoted above is from the American Guide Manual, the handbook that the national office of the Federal Writers' Project developed and distributed to instruct State Directors and project employees on the style and form that their guidebooks should take. A part of an introduction to the tour form, it was written by Katherine Kellock, the woman who first came up with the idea for a "public Baedeker" (Mangione 46; Penkower 22) and who went on to be national tours editor for the project. Among other things, this organizing allegory demonstrates that the tour guide is not an unmediated form; that an underlying ideology and a well-chosen methodology have intervened in the way that it presents us with its information.

*Katherine Kellock, National Tours Editor, Washington, D.C., October 17, 1938; Supplementary Instructions #11-E to the American Guide Manual, Complete Summary of the Tour Form; The American Guide Manual; Manuals of Instruction; Records of the Federal Writers' Project (FWP), Record Group 69.5.5; National Archives at College Park, College Park, MD.



Juliet Gorman, May 2001