Special Collections and Archives has launched its new Resource Guide for the First World War era.
While the library’s circulating book collections relating to the First World War cover about 10 shelves, in Special Collections and Archives we have another 10 shelf metres of contemporaneous reference sources: printed, ephemeral, and archival material produced in the period 1914-1920.
So far this is an untapped resource by students, and most academic staff, and we’re keen to promote this material for both undergraduate and postgraduate work. We estimate we have over 3,000 items in the Library’s collections from the period 1914-1920; we have selected around 700 for the guide which are focused on the War itself.
The 1914-1920 material outlined by the Resource Guide includes –
- Eye witness accounts from the front line,
- War poets and literary writings, especially the huge Edward Thomas archive,
- Wide ranging political debates raging during the war,
- Much League of Nations material, from early in the war to well after 1920,
- Pro-war and Conscientious objectors’ perspectives,
- Extensive press cuttings collections throughout the war years, giving a week by week, blow by blow account from the war’s start to its end
- Pictorial and illustration sources from a wide range of printed material,
- Many sources showing what life was like on the ‘home front’ during the war period.
Hopefully, from these original and contemporaneous sources, students will get an enhanced perspective on the War, getting a flavour from contemporary sources of how people thought, felt, and reacted in that difficult time.
Special Collections and Archives staff received extensive help from a volunteer, an American librarian in Cardiff, to produce the eventual guide, and we are grateful to Katherine Wilkins for her assistance.
The Resource Guide features on the Imperial War Museum’s guide to events, exhibitions, projects and activities. Find out more at www.1914.org.