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World War I: A Wartime Clipping Service Update: All 400 Volumes Now Online

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The massive collection, World War History: Newspaper Clippings, 1914 to 1926, is now fully digitized and freely available on the Library of Congress website. The 79,621 pages are packed with war-related front pages, illustrated feature articles, editorial cartoons, and more. You can search by keywords, browse the content chronologically, and download pages.

 ”Now That War Is Here, What Is My Share?” The Sunday Herald (Boston, MA), April 8, 1917, Editorial Section. World War History, Vol. 232, Image 49. Serial and Government Publications Division.

Coverage begins on June 29, 1914 with articles focusing on the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and continues into the post-war world through Dec. 31, 1926. The clippings provide a tremendous resource for the examination of the devastating Great War and its aftermath. The chronological arrangement of daily press coverage from multiple sources is invaluable.

“‘Terrible, Terrible! I am Spared Nothing!’ Exclaims Emperor, Hearing News,” New York American, June 29, 1914. World War History, Vol. 1, Image 4. Serial and Government Publications Division.
“Germans Retreat Across the Aisne,” The Superior Telegram (Superior, WI), Sept. 5, 1918, and additional clippings. World War History, Vol. 360, Image 117. Serial and Government Publications Division.



“The Leaders of Victory,” New York American, Nov. 17, 1918, Souvenir of the War Section. World War History, Vol. 378, Image 44. Serial and Government Publications Division.

Keywords can be searched over the entire date range of the volumes or for a time frame as small as a month. New York City newspapers predominate, but newspapers from all over the country and some foreign titles are represented through full pages, clipped articles, and editorial cartoons.

The clippings are frequently from the foreign language American press, including articles in German, French, and Italian. German American newspaper articles are by far the most prevalent, and likely most significant, foreign language coverage because these newspapers faced newsstand boycotts, declining advertising and subscriptions, and government raids, with many out of business by 1919.

Clipping from Deutsches Journal (New York, NY), April 20, 1917. World War History, Vol. 232, Image 112. Serial and Government Publications Division.

Check out our earlier blog, “World War I: A Wartime Clipping Service,” to find out how the original set of 400 volumes was created in the late 1920s and to learn about its circuitous route to the Library of Congress. In that blog, we estimated that it would take several years to digitize the nearly 80,000 fragile pages. The work progressed quickly thanks to the determined efforts of preservation and digital projects staff across the Library. The digitization effort led to further stabilization and preservation of the original volumes, which are stored off-site. Now the entire collection is accessible worldwide only a few weeks after the 100th anniversary of the armistice with Germany ending World War I.

World War I Centennial, 2017-2018: With the most comprehensive collection of multi-format World War I holdings in the nation, the Library of Congress is a unique resource for primary source materials, education plans, public programs and on-site visitor experiences about The Great War including exhibits, symposia and book talks.

Comments (4)

  1. A great way to get an idea of the impact WWI had on the country and the American people. The war had a profound effect on the world and set the stage for WWII. A must read to help raise awareness of this extremely important event during it’s 100th anniversary.

  2. Why did it take so long? These people are long dead. Would have been useful 100 years ago. Ridiculous now.

  3. Excellent resource! WWI in many European countries remains a part of the local mindset. This resource is valuable on many levels to learn more about the event and the enormous world wide ripple effect it has had.

  4. Questioning the value of keeping and protecting historical records, especially in the case of World Wars I and II, has been succinctly expressed many times, (paraphrasing here) “If we as a nation or a species do not know our history, we are doomed to make the same mistakes as our predecessors.” In this day and age of our seriously flawed social media, digitizing materials and protecting them from those who would rewrite history for their own agenda, is so very worthwhile and important. Kudos to those dedicated to such preservations!

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