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A Guide to World War I Materials

Compiled by Kenneth Drexler, Digital Reference Specialist

I want you for the U.S. Army nearest recruiting station / James Montgomery Flagg
I want you for the U.S. Army nearest recruiting station.
James Montgomery Flagg.
1 print (poster) : lithograph, color.
Prints and Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material related to World War I, including photographs, documents, newspapers, films, sheet music, and sound recordings. This guide compiles links to World War I resources throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, this guide provides links to external Web sites focusing on World War I and a bibliography containing selections for both general and younger readers.

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

Digital Collections

American Leaders Speak: Recordings from World War I and the 1920 Election

The Nation's Forum Collection from the Motion Picture, Broadcasting, and Recorded Sound Division consists of fifty-nine sound recordings of speeches by American leaders at the turn of the century. The speeches focus on issues and events surrounding the First World War and the subsequent presidential election of 1920.

American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936 - 1940

These life histories were written by staff of the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers' Project for the U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA) from 1936-1940. The Library of Congress Manuscript Division collection includes 2,900 documents representing the work of over 300 writers from 24 states. Search on the phrase "World War" in order to locate life histories that mention World War I.

Newspaper Pictorials: World War I Rotogravures, 1914-1919

This collection displays the variety and diversity of Sunday pictorial sections published in two prominent U.S. newspapers: the New York Times and New York Tribune. It also includes a book, The War of the Nations: Portfolio in Rotogravure Etchings. The images in the collection document events of World War I and popular American culture of that era.

The Stars and Stripes: The American Soldiers' Newspaper of World War I, 1918-1919

This collection presents the complete seventy-one-week run of the World War I edition of the newspaper The Stars and Stripes. Published in France by the United States Army from February 8, 1918, to June 13, 1919, the eight-page weekly featured news, poetry, cartoons, and sports coverage, with a staff that included journalists Alexander Woollcott, Harold Wallace Ross and Grantland Rice. Written by and for the American soldiers at the war front, the paper offers a unique perspective from which to examine the wartime experience.

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film

This collection features 104 films that record events in Theodore Roosevelt's life from the Spanish-American War in 1898 to his death in 1919. Contains films of Roosevelt performing various public functions in support of the war effort during World War I. Also, includes a film of Roosevelt's sons' regiments in France during the war.

America's Library

Jump Back in Time: U.S. Entered World War I, April 6, 1917.

Jump Back in Time: American Forces under General Pershing Launched First Major Offensive in WWI, September 12, 1918.

Jump Back in Time: The Paris Peace Conference, January 18, 1919

Jump Back in Time: World War I Ended With the Treaty of Versailles, June 28, 1919.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Chronicling America

This site allows you to search and view millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836-1922. Search this collection to find newspaper articles about World War I.

A selection of articles on World War I includes:

In addition, the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room has created a series of topics guides to the newspapers included in Chronicling America, including a number of guides related to World War I.


American Treasures of the Library of Congress - World War I

This exhibition highlights material available at the Library of Congress related to
World War I, including photographs, posters, newspapers, and original documents.

From the Home Front and the Front Lines

This exhibition consists of original materials and oral histories drawn from the Veterans History Project collections at the Library of Congress, including World War I.

Library of Congress Online Catalog

Search the Library of Congress Online Catalog using the phrase World War 1914 1918 to locate digitized books related to World War I that were published before 1923.

Main Reading Room

World War I: An Annotated Bibliography of Books in the Main Reading Room Reference Collection and World War I Military Newspapers in the General and Microform Collections

Prints and Photographs Division

Prints and Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Search PPOC using the phrase World War 1914 1918 to find additional images from World War I such as photographs, prints, cartoons and posters.

The Teachers Page

American Memory Timeline: U.S. Participation in the Great War (World War One)

Contains a short essay on U.S. involvement in World War I and links to related documents found within American Memory.

On the Homefront: America During World War I and World War II

This activity showcases a sampling of American Memory resources that illustrate homefront contributions during World War I and World War II.

World War I: What Are We Fighting For Over There?

A lesson plan designed for grades 10 through 12, in which students create World War I era newspapers with different perspectives on American involvement in the war.

Today in History

June 28, 1914

Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife Sofia were assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914, setting off a chain of events that would culminate in a world war by August.

May 7, 1915

On May 7, 1915, a German submarine sank the British ocean liner Lusitania, drowning 1,198 civilians.

April 6, 1917

The United States formally declared war against Germany and entered the conflict in Europe on April 6, 1917.

September 12, 1918

On September 12, 1918, the American Expeditionary Forces under commander in chief General John J. Pershing launched their first major offensive in Europe as an independent army.

November 11, 1918

The Allied powers signed a cease-fire agreement with Germany at Rethondes, France on November 11, 1918, bringing World War I to a close.

July 28, 1932

On July 28, 1932, the protesters known as the "Bonus Army" gathered in the nation's capital to demand immediate payment of benefits for their military service during World War I.

July 15, 1948

John J. Pershing, military commander whose brilliant career earned him the title General of the Armies of the United States, died on July 15, 1948. General Pershing was the commander of the American Expeditionary Forces to Europe in World War I.

Veterans History Project

Veterans History Project Home Page

The Veterans History Project collects and preserves stories of wartime service from World War I to the present. This site provides information about how to participate in the project, a database of participating veterans, and digitized materials from the collection. It also contains a selected bibliography of print and online resources related to World War I.

Link disclaimerExternal Web Sites

1914-1918 Online: International Encyclopedia of the First World War

This site is a virtual reference work on the First World War. The multi-perspective, open-access knowledge base is the result of an international collaborative project involving more than 1,000 authors, editors, and partners from over fifty countries.

Europeana 1914-1918

This site is a pan-European collection of original First World War source material, including letters, diaries, photographs, films, postcards, and official documents.

The Great War and the Shaping of the Twentieth Century

This PBS site on World War I contains a timeline, glossary, maps, educational resources, and commentary from historians.

Military Resources: World War I

A compilation of resources on World War I from the National Archives and Records Administration, including links to external sites.

Online Bookshelves: World War I

The U.S. Army Center of Military History provides the full-text of online books related to American involvement in World War I.

Wars and Conflicts: World War One

This BBC site contains a wide variety of material on World War I, including a timeline, essays, films, audio, and photographs.

World War I Document Archive

An archive of primary source documents from World War I compiled by volunteers of the World War I Military History discussion group.

Selected Bibliography

Eisenhower, John S.D., and Joanne Thompson Eisenhower. Yanks: The Epic Story of the American Army in World War I. New York: Free Press, 2001. [Catalog Record]

Fussell, Paul. The Great War and Modern Memory. New York: Oxford University Press, 1975. [Catalog Record]

Gilbert, Martin. The First World War: A Complete History. New York: H. Holt, 1994. [Catalog Record]

Keegan, John. The First World War. New York: A. Knopf; Distributed by Random House, 1999. [Catalog Record]

Storey, William Kelleher. The First World War: A Concise Global History. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 2009. [Catalog Record]

Strachan, Hew. The First World War. New York: Viking, 2004. [Catalog Record]

Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. The Guns of August. New York: Macmillan, 1962. [Catalog Record]

Winter, Jay, ed. The Cambridge History of the First World War. 3 vols. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014. [Catalog Record]

Younger Readers

Adams, Simon. World War I. Rev. ed. New York: Dorling Kindersley, 2004. [Catalog Record]

Clare, John D., ed. First World War. San Diego: Harcourt Brace, 1995. [Catalog Record]

Dolan, Edward F. America in World War I. Brookfield, Conn.: Millbrook Press, 1996. [Catalog Record]

Kent, Zachary. World War I: The War to End Wars. Hillside, N.J.: Enslow Publishers, 1994. [Catalog Record]

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  February 4, 2015
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