Remembering World War I
Between July 1914 and November 1918, the First World War led to the deaths of millions of soldiers and civilians, spurred tactical and technical innovations that altered how warfare is conducted, and resulted in a treaty that radically changed political boundaries and effected the world economy for years. One hundred years after the First World War, we continue to explore the impacts of this momentous conflict as we honor and remember the individuals whose lives were lost and forever changed.
American soldiers, nurses, and other individuals who traveled to Europe to participate in the Great War chose to remember and preserve mementoes of their experiences through scrapbooks, postcards, letters, and other items they kept and sent to friends and family members. The Special Collections at Bryn Mawr College and Villanova University contain well-preserved examples of such memory books including the Alma A. Clarke Papers, the Frank R. Steed Scrapbooks, the Edward D. Forman Postcard Collection, and Scrapbook of Einer Smestad.
In the Fall of 2015, graduate students in the Villanova Digital History course explored these scrapbooks as a form of memory and source of information on varied experiences during the First World War. Each student developed both an article exploring a key topic related to understanding World War I as well as a digital project based on the photos, letters, texts, and other items contained within the primary source scrapbooks.
Through these digital projects, we hope you glimpse how a few soldiers and nurses remembered their participation in the war. The photos and letters contained in these decades old scrapbooks demonstrate the importance of memory for understanding human experience and provide insight into the war that changed the world.
Rachel Batch, Anna Fitzpatrick, Helen Gassman, Daniel Gorman, Riley Hubbard, Sarah Johnson, Chelse Martin, Andreina Milagros Soto Segura, Elizabeth Motich, Brianna Quade, Emily Sabol, Ann Shipley, Michaela Smith, Emily Vasas
Falvey Memorial Library Liaisons
With Special Thanks To
Bryn Mawr College Special Collections
Falvey Memorial Library Special Collections
Dr. Michelle Moravec, Rosemont College
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