Compiled by Mark F. Hall, Digital Reference Specialist
World War II (1939-1945) was the largest international event
of the twentieth century and one of the major turning points
in U.S. and world history. In the six years between the invasion
of Poland and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the world
was caught up in the most destructive war in history. Armed
forces of more than seventeen million fought on the land,
in the air, and on the sea. The digital collections of the
Library of Congress contain a wide and diverse selection of
materials relating to this period.
This guide gathers in one place links to World War II related
resources throughout the Library of Congress Web site.
Library of Congress Web Sites | External
Web Sites | Selected Bibliography
Library of Congress Web Sites
the Day of Infamy: "Man-on-the-Street" Interviews
Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor
This collection contains approximately twelve hours of
opinions recorded in the days and months following the
bombing of Pearl Harbor from interviews with more than
two hundred individuals in cities and towns across the
from the Great Depression to World War II: Photographs from
the FSA and OWI, ca. 1935-1945
The images in the Farm Security Administration-Office
of War Information Collection are among the most famous
documentary photographs ever produced. Created by a group
of U.S. government photographers, the images show Americans
in every part of the nation. In its early years, the project
emphasized rural life and the negative impact of the Great
Depression, farm mechanization, and the Dust Bowl. In
later years, the photographers turned their attention
to the mobilization effort for World War II.
Contains a series of maps
of the Battle of the Bulge.
under a Great Injustice": Ansel Adams’s Photographs
of Japanese-American Internment at Manzanar
In 1943, Ansel Adams (1902-1984), one of America's best-known
photographers, documented the Manzanar War Relocation
Center in California and the Japanese Americans interned
there during World War II.
Aid for World War II Collections in the Archive of Folk
The Archive of Folk Culture mainly consists of the collections
of the American Folklife Center. Today the Archive includes
over three million photographs, manuscripts, audio recordings,
and moving images, consisting of documentation of traditional
culture from all around the world. It is America's first
national archive of traditional life, and one of the oldest
and largest of such repositories in the world.
Now What a Time: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938 to 1943
Search on the keyword war in “Now What a Time”: Blues, Gospel, and the Fort Valley Music Festivals, 1938-1943 to hear a variety of songs related to WWII. Hear, for example, “Roosevelt and Hitler” (also titled “Strange Things Are Happening in the Land”). Read the song’s lyrics.
Treasures of the Library of Congress - World War II
This online exhibition contains notable examples of World
War II eramaterials from different areas of the Library,
including photographs, posters, newspapers, and original
Treasures from the Saxon State Library
This exhibition includes photographs of twentieth century
Dresden, including View
from the Georgen Gate showing the ruins of the Frauenkirche
and surrounding buildings, summer 1947 and View
of Dresden's Neumarkt and the Frauenkirche, August
History: Political Cartoons from the Crash to the Millennium
This exhibit includes a number of editorial cartoons
from the World War II era by Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial
cartoonist Herbert L. Block (1909-2001).
and Uncle Sam: Four Centuries of British-American Relations
The section of this exhibition titled "From
Enemy to Ally" contains a variety of World War
II materials, including examples of sheet music, photographs,
Come to the Front: Journalists, Photographers, and Broadcasters
This exhibition spotlights eight women who succeeded
in "coming to the front" during the war--Therese
Bonney, Toni Frissell, Marvin Breckinridge Patterson,
Clare Boothe Luce, Janet Flanner, Esther Bubley, Dorothea
Lange, and May Craig. Their stories--drawn from private
papers and photographs primarily in Library of Congress
collections--open a window on a generation of women who
changed American society forever by securing a place for
themselves in the workplace, in the newsroom, and on the
Hoog on Pearl Harbor Oral Histories
Ann Hoog ( Folklife Specialist, American Folklife Center,
Library of Congress) discusses After the Day of Infamy:
'Man-on-the-Street' Interviews Following the Attack on
Harvey on Rosie the Riveter
Sheridan Harvey (Women's Studies Specialist, Humanities
and Social Sciences Division, Library of Congress) explores
the evolution of "Rosie the Riveter"and discusses
the lives of real women workers in World War II.
Adams' Manzanar War Relocation Center Photographs
The same images as presented on the Library of Congress
American Memory site. This site contains background information,
and a few selected images are included here as a quick
sample of the collection.
Security Administation/Office of War Information Collection
The photographs of the Farm Security Administration
(FSA)-Office of War Information (OWI), transferred to
the Library of Congress in 1944, form an extensive pictorial
record of American life between 1935 and 1943. As the
scope of the project expanded, the photographers turned
to recording rural and urban conditions throughout the
United States and mobilization efforts for World War II.
Pictures: Select Images Relating to American Women Workers
During World War II
The Prints & Photographs Division holds hundreds
of images relating to American women workers in World
War II. These selected images were issued by the U.S.
government or by commercial sources during World War II,
often to encourage women to join the work force or to
highlight other aspects of the war effort.
The United Service Organizations, popularly known as
the USO, was chartered on February 4, 1941, in order to
provide recreation for on-leave members of the U.S. armed
forces and their families.
D-Day: Operation Overlord, The Allies invaded Normandy
on June 6, 1944.
On June 13, 1942, seven months after the bombing of Pearl
Harbor, the Office of War Information (OWI) was created.
An important U.S. government propaganda agency during
World War II, the OWI supported American mobilization
for the war effort by recording the nation's activities.
On June 21, 1945, Japanese troops surrendered the Pacific
Island of Okinawa to the United States after one of the
longest and bloodiest battles of World War II.
On August 13, 1942, Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin drafted
a memorandum to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
and American President Franklin Roosevelt opposing their
decision not to invade Western Europe at that time.
In 1942, John F. Kennedy entered the United States Navy
to join American forces fighting in World War II. Prior
to his departure, playwright Clare Boothe Luce, a close
friend of the Kennedy family, sent the young naval officer
a good luck coin that once belonged to her mother. On
September 29, 1942, Kennedy wrote to Luce thanking her
for sharing such an important token with him.
The Senate passed the $5.98 billion supplemental Lend-Lease
Bill on October 23, 1941, bringing the United States one
step closer to direct involvement in World War II.
The United Nations was established by charter on October
24, 1945. Initially, the United Nations included only
the twenty-six countries that had signed the 1942 Declaration
by United Nations, a statement of war against the Axis
powers (Germany, Italy, and Japan) in World War II.
Rick's Place: World War II military code for the city
of Casablanca. The film Casablanca
premiered in New York City on November 26, 1942,
as Allied Expeditionary Forces (AEF) secured their hold
on North Africa during World War II.
At 3:25 P.M. on December 2, 1942, the Atomic Age began
inside an enormous tent on a squash court under the stands
of the University of Chicago's Stagg Field.
On December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United
States Naval Base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii Territory killing
more than 2,300 Americans.
History Project home page
Provides information about this oral history project,
as will as links to information about how to participate,
a database of participating veterans, and digitized materials
from the collection.
Veterans History Project Guide
to other oral history sites (predominantly WWII) and
World War II Museum
Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now
designated by Congress as the country's official World
War II Museum, this remarkable attraction illuminates
the American experience during the WWII era with moving
personal stories, historic artifacts and powerful interactive
of Persuasion: Poster Art from World War II
Collection of 33 posters the U.S. government used to
mobilize public opinion during World War II. Provided
by the National Archives and Records Administration.
Oral History Archives of World War II
Transcripts of interviews with more than 200 people
who were young adults during World War II.
and the Homefront During World War II
Teacher Tracey Oz presents an extensive set of links
on women's roles in World War II.
War II: Documents
Primary source documents on World War II. Maintained
by the Avalon Project at Yale University.
War II Poster Collection
More than 300 posters issued by government agencies
during the war years. From Northwestern University Library.
Churchill, Winston. The Second World
War. 6 vols. London: Cassell, 1948-1954. [Catalog
Keegan, John. The Second World War.
New York: Viking, 1990. [Catalog
Gilbert, Martin. The Second World
War : A Complete History. New York: H. Holt, c1989.
War II: A Selected List of References (research guide)
A lengthy annotated bibliography from 1992, compiled
by Jon Simon, Congressional Research Service and Albert
E. Smith, Jr., Humanities and Social Sciences Division.
Ambrose, Stephen. The Good Fight:
How World War II Was Won. New York: Atheneum, 2001.
O'Neill, William L. World War II:
A Student Companion. New York: Oxford University
Press, 1999. [Catalog