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World War I Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Title: World War I Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1912-1964
Bulk Dates: 1914-1919
Quantity: 0.25 linear ft.
Abstract: Published material, clippings and ephemera relating to World War I.
Language: Majority in German, some in English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

World War I (1914-1918), originally known as the World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars until 1939, involved all major powers in the world at the time. It was triggered by the assassination of Arch-Duke Franz Ferdinand, but the imperialistic policies of Germany, England, France, Italy and Russia in the preceding decades played an important role in setting the stage. On one side were the Allies (at first Russia, England and France, later joined by the United States, Canada, Spain, and several other countries) and on the other the Central Powers (primarily the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and the Ottoman Empire). Hostilities ceased on 11 November 1918 (Armistice Day) and the war formally ended on June 28, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The World War I Collection consists of printed material and personal material.

Personal material consists of a diary (1918-1919) and accompanying memorabilia, including dance tickets and reminiscent notes, and a number of postcards from Harold Drais, with the 56th Engineers, to his family.

Printed material contains cartoons and clippings from German newspapers; a 1964 issue of LIFE magazine with the cover story "The First World War"; an assortment of pro-German pamphlets, some in German and others in English; miscellaneous post-war American and English pamphlets; souvenir postcards with photographs of World War I battlefields, memorials and cemeteries; and a few miscellaneous items. Of particular interest among the pamphlets are two from 1915: The British Black Book, by "an American", and a piece by Houston Stewart Chamberlain entitled, "Who is to blame for the war?"

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Arrangement of the Collection

Series are arranged alphabetically. Within that, clippings are arranged chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Chamberlain, Houston Stewart, 1855-1927 -- Who is to blame for the war?
Cronau, Rudolf -- The British black book.
Drais, Harold J. -- Correspondence.

Corporate Bodies

United States. -- Army. -- Engineer Regiment, 56th.


Château-Thierry, Battle of, Château-Thierry, France, 1918.
World War, 1914-1918.


Compiègne Forest (France)
Montfaucon (Meuse, France)

Genres and Forms

Cartoons (humorous images)
Clippings (information artifacts)
Editorial cartoons.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

World War I Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information


Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 20 Sep 2011
Revision history:

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Personal material
Box 1 Correspondence, Harold Drais 1919 - picture postcards sent to family
Box 1 Diary and related memorabilia 1918-1919, undated - dance ticket, news clipping
Printed material
Box 1 Cartoons, German 1914-1919 - cartoons published in German newspapers; humorous as well as editorial
Box 1 1912 English-language newspapers, relating to the Titanic
Box 1 1914-1916 German newspapers, relating to the war
Box 1 1919 Anti-war editorial by George Bernard Shaw, published in New York American
Box 1 Undated German newspapers, relating to the war, also one or two in English
Oversize 1 Magazine, LIFE 1964 - cover story on World War I
Box 1 Pro-German publications 1914-1916 - in English; primarily text, few or no photos; includes "The British Black Book" outlining why England should be America's enemy and "Who is to blame for the war?" by Houston Stewart Chamberlain
Oversize 1 Pro-German publications 1914-1916 - in German; many with photographs and illustrations
Box 1 Miscellaneous 1931, 1934, undated - Sermon "The Slaugher of the Innocents" by Father Charles Coughlin; pamphlet on the war and the American farmer; booklet "Arms and the Men" about Krupp and other arms manufacturers' role in the war
Box 1 Postcards - battlefields, memorials, cemeteries
Box 1 Miscellaneous - War Chest ad, EGGNIT egg substitute ad, large printed photo, possibly an oversize postcard

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