World War I exhibit visits Coe Library

(October 11, 2018)

For those interested in some American war history, there’s an exhibit available at the Coe Library. Titled “World War I and America,” it focuses on firsthand accounts of men and women who experienced World War I. It is open to the public and available until October 12.

The exhibit is part of a two-year national initiative to support and create discussions about America in World War I. It is put together by the Library of America who hopes that these discussions are focused on firsthand, personal experiences that Americans had during the war. It was organized by Cynthia Hughes, Metadata Librarian at Coe Library.

“The World War I and America exhibit is important to students and community members because it fosters awareness about a significant period of history that is fading out of individuals’ memories into the past,” Hughes said.

“World War I and America” consists of documents that discuss the mindsets of Americans involved. These include why Americans believed they were fighting, what they understood about America’s shifting position, why they reinforced or opposed the war’s cause, what their experience in the military was, how the war altered their worldview and the adjustments Americans coming home had to make.

“World War I and America” is a project funded in partnership with the Gilder Lerhman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and the World War I Centennial Commission by the National Endowment for the Humanities. This effort is in honor of the 100th anniversary of America entering World War I in 1917. The exhibit will continue to travel the country after it leaves UW and will hopefully continue to promote discussion during its journey.

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