The records chronicle the wartime experiences of soldiers and civilians, detail services for soldiers in war zones and illuminate home front, medical, social and recreational activities. The collections also relate to post-war issues such as refugees, displaced persons and returning veterans.

The following represents a sample of available source material and is not intended to be comprehensive. All research sources presented here are available for public research, by appointment, in the Elmer L. Andersen Library Reading Room.

Archival Sources

American Social Health Association records. (Fully digitized) The records chronicle the Association’s work to prevent and eradicate STD's and prostitution through legal measures, research projects, and educational programs. Posters, correspondence, reports, and pamphlets document the Association's work to teach sexual health to U.S. military personnel and prevent prostitution near military camps during World War I.

Emma Young Dickson papers. (Fully digitized) The collection includes diaries, correspondence, photographs and memorabilia, dating from the period Dickson served with the American Expeditionary Forces as a YMCA canteen worker in France. The diaries are organized like a scrapbook with letters, telegrams and memorabilia pasted alongside the daily entries.

Frank and Arthur Eisenberg papers. (Fully digitized). The collection consists of correspondence and ephemera from father and son Frank and Arthur Eisenberg, members of a Jewish family living in Minneapolis, who both served in the military during World War I and World War II respectively.

Jack Pink papers. (Partially digitized) This collection includes Pink’s journal, which he kept during his time in the United States Army in 1918.

Jewish War Veterans records. This collection consists of materials related to the Minneapolis and St. Paul chapters of the Jewish War Veterans, include veterans of World War I and their commemoration efforts after the war.

Kenneth Dexter Miller papers. (Partially digitized) The papers include correspondence, memorabilia, professional writings and scrapbooks. Diaries and photographs document Miller’s travels across Siberia with the Czechoslovak Legion from 1917-1919.

Lantern slide collection. (Partially digitized) Lantern slides document YMCA international work, including work with the armed services during World War I. Of particular note are hand-painted slides made by German prisoners of war during World War I.

Minneapolis Red Cross records. The records document services for soldiers and home front programs. A collection of photographs and postcards, dating to both during and after the war, depict local residents and scenery, relief activities and Red Cross staff from the American National Red Cross Commission to Albania and the American National Red Cross Italian and Serbian Commission.

National Recreation Association records. (Partially digitized) With the start of World War I, the organization expanded to provide services to troops at training camps. Due to the poor physical fitness of prospective recruits, fitness became a large concern in America. Records contain minutes, reports and other documents from War Camp Community Service, which was created to raise funds and boost morale.

Rose G. Szewc papers. Papers consist of correspondence, newspaper clippings and miscellany. Szewc’s activities included work with civilian relief organizations in Poland during WWI and teaching English to foreign-born recruits at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indiana. She also served as the Executive Secretary of the American Association for the Education of Foreign-Born Soldiers in the United States.

Sidney Cohen papers. (Partially digitized) This collection consists of four log books detailing Cohen's time spent in the Hospital Corp of the United States Navy during World War I.

Stefan Osusky papers. Papers contain personal and professional papers and writings. Topics include the movement for Czech independence, negotiations by President Woodrow Wilson with Emperor Charles of Austria, relations between the Czech National Committee and the French government, Hungarian involvement in World War I and the economic situation in Austria-Hungary prior to World War I. During the inter-war years, Osusky served as both a diplomat and an ambassador.

Stella Mickritz Mucha papers. Papers consist of correspondence, photographs, school records, newspaper clippings, reports and published materials. Scrapbooks document Mickritz’s career as a nurse, including her service with the Polish Grey Samaritans, a nursing unit assembled under the auspices of the YWCA and the American Relief Administration’s European Children’s Fund.

Survey Associates records (partially digitized) and Paul U. Kellogg papers (partially digitized). The records of this progressive journal and the personal papers of its editor document World War I and the pacifist movement through correspondence from important figures in the progressive movement, social work, philanthropy, government and social service agencies.

Trench and Camp newspaper. (Partially digitized -- Camp Upton and Camp Cody) The collection is a summary of the YMCA Archives holdings for thirty different editions of Trench and Camp, a newspaper published by the YMCA's National War Work Council for various U.S. Army camps during World War I.

United States Veterans Administration Social Work Service records. (Partially digitized) The collection reflects the efforts of the VA Social Work Service to develop a program of social and to assist in readjustment problems of veterans returning to community life.

World War I related records. (Partially digitized) The collection documents the records of major YMCA administrative bodies which provided services to the military forces in the United States and abroad during World War I. Files include minutes, correspondence, publicity bulletins, training manuals, reports and newspapers.

World War I pamphlet collection (Partially digitized).  Comprises approximately 4,100 items published worldwide, in all the major languages of the world. The pamphlets treat a broad spectrum of subjects: war, peace, social, political and ethical issues, economic and military concerns, legislation, relief organizations, army training, returning veterans, neutrality. It includes such formats as maps, journals, posters, and scrap books. The pamphlets are written by organizations as varied as the American Library Association, the Catholic Church, the Red Cross, the National War Garden Commission, the New York Public Library and the League of Nations. Individuals as diverse as Cristabel Pankhurst, Clarence Seward Darrow, Leon Trotskii, Rudyard Kipling, Jan Christian Smuts and Lord Asquith are represented.

Books and Journals

  • Charity Organization Society of the City of New York. The Survey, 1909-1937. HV1 .S8
  • Lowe, Samuel E., and Alice Carsey. Mary Lee: The Red Cross Girl. Racine, Wis.: Whitman Publishing, 1917. PS3523.O87 M3 1917
  • Lowe, Samuel E., and Violet Moore Higgins. The Red Cross Girls at Work. Racine, Wis.: Whitman Publishing, 1917. PS3523.O87 R44 1917
  • Playground Association of America. The Playground, 1907-1929. GV421 .P73x
  • Rosenfelt, Henry H. This Thing of Giving: The Record of a Rare Enterprise of Mercy and Brotherhood.
  • New York: Plymouth Press, 1924. D639 .J4 R65
  • Viestnik' Obshchestva Russkikh' Veteranov' Veliko Vony (Messenger of the Russian Veterans of World War I), 1926-1965 (frequency varies). IHRCA

Photographs and Media

View a selection of digitized images related to the First World War, including photographs, posters, documents, newspapers and more.

Related Materials

Last Updated: Oct 7, 2020 11:45 AM