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Collection on World War I

Identifier: MSS 98

Scope and Contents

The collection on World War I, 1914-1923 and undated, is organized into seven series.

International relations, 1914-1921 and undated, contains published correspondence, newspapers, and reports from Great Britain, Turkey, the United States, Belgium, Germany, the Netherlands, France, and Russia about international relationships throughout the course of World War I.

France, 1915-1918 and undated, includes publications in French and English about French involvement in the war efforts and the effects of the war on French citizens. This series contains several materials on the Alsace-Lorraine territorial dispute between France and Germany during the war.

Great Britain, 1914-1918, consists of speeches and publications about the British war effort, Londoners’ perceptions of the war, and information on British labor for a United States audience.

Germany, 1914-1918 and undated, contains materials in German and English about the war goals of Germany, documents from the Hilfsverein Deutscher Frauen organization of German women who helped the children of German soldiers, and statements concerning the academic disputes between German and British professors.

Other nations, 1915-1919 and undated, includes publications from Canada, Austria-Hungary, Scandinavia, and the Holy Land about their respective contributions to the war.

United States, 1916-1922 and undated, consists of publications about the United States’ involvement in the war and the experiences of United States citizens during wartime. The series is organized into five subseries: Education, Production and consumption, Service, Food, Women’s work, and Miscellaneous.

The Education subseries, 1918-1919, contains publications about the roles of librarians during the war, commencement speeches, and bulletins from the American Library Association and the Committee on Public Information.

The Production and consumption subseries, 1916-1918 and undated, includes reports, addresses, pamphlets, outlines, recorded proceedings, graphics, and bulletins instructing the domestic workforce to work and consume responsibly.

The Service subseries, 1916-1919 and undated, contains materials describing participation in the Selective Service, the U.S. Military, and the State Department.

The Food subseries, 1917-1918 and undated, includes form letters, pamphlets, and advertisements supporting the importance of food production, distribution, consumption, and conservation during wartime.

The Women’s work subseries, 1918 and undated, consists of press releases from the Women’s War Work branch of the Committee for Public Information.

The Miscellaneous subseries, 1917-1922 and undated, contains pamphlets and press releases about prisoners of war, the role of advertisers, the War Revenue Bill, the Chicago Tribune, donations, and relief efforts.

Miscellaneous, 1915-1928 and undated, contains published essays and pamphlets unrelated to the other series in this collection. These materials discuss submarines warfare, wartime usage of the sea, Bolshevism, and proposals for post-war reparations.


  • Creation: 1914-1928 and undated

Language of Materials

English, French, Swedish, and German

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on the use of this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from Augustana College Special Collections and the copyright holder.

Historical Note

The collection on World War I was most likely assembled as a study collection by an Augustana College faculty member or librarian. World War I, known as the “Great War”, was a global war that began in 1914 and lasted until 1918. The assassination of Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand on 28 June 1914 is largely considered the event that sparked the beginning of World War I, as it was the culmination of years of growing tensions in Europe. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia on 28 July 1914 after receiving an assurance of support from its ally, Germany. In response, Serbia prepared for war alongside its Russian ally. Eventually, all of the world’s most powerful nations divided themselves into either the Allied Powers (supporting Serbia) or the Central Powers (supporting Austria-Hungary and Germany). The United States remained neutral throughout the first three years of the war, but after the sinking of the RMS Lusitania and the interception of the Zimmerman telegram between Germany and Mexico, the United States declared war against Germany on 6 April 1917. An initially successful series of German attacks from April to July 1918, known as the “Spring Offensive”, gave way to the Allies’ final period of success during the “Hundred Days Offensive” from August to November 1918. The Austro-Hungarian Empire agreed to an armistice on 4 November 1918, but the war did not end until Germany agreed to its own armistice on 11 November 1918. The signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919 reassigned German boundaries and sent Germany into a state of economic depression and instability. Nearly twenty years later, the rise of German nationalism and growing resentment towards the outcomes of the Treaty of Versailles launched Adolf Hitler into power and led to the commencement of World War II.


2.3 Cubic Feet (/ 6 boxes and 2 oversize folders)


The collection on World War I, 1914-1923 and undated, is a collection of primarily published documents disseminated throughout the war to members of the public. It was most likely assembled as a study collection by an Augustana College faculty member or librarian. The collection is organized into seven series: International relations, France, Great Britain, Germany, Other nations, United States, and Miscellaneous. The United States series is further divided into six subseries: Education, Production and consumption, Service, Food, Women’s work, and Miscellaneous. Materials in this collection include articles, newspapers, booklets, lectures, speeches, bulletins, and posters published primarily in the United States and Great Britain.


Materials arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Immediate source of acquisition unknown.

Related Materials

MSS 99 Collection on World War II

Processing Information

Processed by Ariana Solis, May 2017.

Collection on World War I, 1914-1928 and undated.
Ariana Solis
May 2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Augustana College Special Collections Repository

639 38th Street
Thomas Tredway Library
Rock Island Illinois 61201 United States