World War I Collection

URLs to browse or search the collections

This digital collection provides a sampling of UW-Madison’s World War I Special Collection. The complete collection is available in the Special Collections Department of Memorial Library. Most of these materials were acquired by the University during or in the immediate aftermath of the war and they represent a direct and often very passionate or partisan viewpoint of that conflict. These are primary sources, the raw materials of history, and they bring the first great worldwide conflict of the twentieth century to us in an immediate way, without the viewpoint provided by intervening years and events.

UW-Madison’s World War I collection focuses primarily, though not exclusively, on European aspects of the war. It is particularly strong in documenting rescue and relief efforts, and in propaganda materials, but all aspects of the war are included.

We have made a special effort to include visual images in the digital collection, including illustrated periodicals as well as memorabilia. Included as well are two multivolume illustrated histories from combatants on opposite sides: Gabriel Hanotaux, Histoire illustrée de la guerre de 1914 and Grosser Bilderatlas des Weltkrieges.


Organization, conservation, and digitization of the World War I collection was made possible by the UW-Madison General Library System, and by grants from the Friends of the UW-Madison Libraries and the University’s Brittingham fund.