Guide to the Research Collections

- WORLD WAR I, 1914-1918
- Histories


The importance of documentary sources in historical research gives particular value to the large number of printed archives which the library holds. Certain periodicals, particularly continental publications, contain archival materials; to them may be added the Diario della guerra d'Italia raccolta dei bullettini ufficiali, which appeared serially. Outstanding compilations in book form include the German Reichsarchiv's Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918. The French Guerre de 1914: documents officiels, textes législatifs et réglementaires is representative of more general collections, and the Amtliche Aktenstuecke zur Geschichte der europaïsche Politik 1885-1914 of the Ministère des Affaires Étrangères of Belgium covers more specifically the questions of causes, for which there are additional compilations, and also original printed materials in the public documents collections of the Economic and Public Affairs Division, particularly useful in the study of diplomatic relations and international affairs.

A vast amount of controversial material is present, including the publications of the German Untersuchungsausschuss über die Weltkriegsver-antwortlichkeit, principally concerned with causes of the war. Belgian publications are typical of this sort of material: Réponse au livre blanc allemand du 10 mai 1915 of the Ministère de la Guerre de 1914-16 or Violations des règles du droit des gens, des lois et des coutumes de la guerre of the Commission d'Enquête.

There were also contemporaneous accounts of the war which appeared in parts and were generally illustrated and inexpensive; in France these include Joseph Reinach's La Guerre de 1914-1918, composed of digested news material; Maurice Schwob's Pendant la bataille, reprinted from Phare; and the Histoire illustrée de la guerre de 1914 of Gabriel Hanotaux. In Germany there were Der Krieg 1914-1918; in Wort und Bild and Karl Aspern's Illustrierte Geschichte des europäischen Krieges 1914-1918; in Italy, La guerra delle nazioni 1914-1918.

Reprinted laws and commentaries are varied and abundant. The Relazioni of the Italian Reale Commissione d'Inchiesta sulle Violazioni del Diritto delle Genti Commesse dal Nemico deals primarily with international law. There are also conventional compilations, such as the German Sämtliche Kriegs-Gesetze, Verordnungen und-Bekanntmachungen and the Italian Raccolta di disposizioni legislative e regolamentari duranti l'attuale conflitto internazionale. Translations such as the German Legislation for the Occupied Territories of Belgium are also present. While most of this material is available in other sources, the compilations make it more accessible for research.

The collection contains all of the major unofficial histories with documentary and archival materials and a good selection of all such works. Official histories are represented by works such as the Austrian Osterreich-Ungarns letzter Krieg 1914-1918 and History of the Great War Based on Official Documents, issued by the Imperial Defense Committee of Great Britain. The library can present to the researcher not only contemporary material written during the war, giving current points of view, but also official statements of position, and the host of critical studies which are based on these earlier sources.

Among the military histories are works such as Les campagnes coloniales belges by the Section Historique of the Belgian General Staff and Les armées françaises dans la grande guerre by the Section Historique of the French General Staff. J. Kooiman's De Nederlandsche Strijdmacht describes the activities of the Dutch army.

Regimental histories are strongly represented in this collection. The substantial holdings of American regimental histories, many of them privately printed, include rosters published by states, such as the Official Roster of Ohio Soldiers, Sailors and Marines issued by the Adjutant General's Office of Ohio. An interesting group relates to the American Expeditionary Forces and includes two mimeographed publications made by members of the AEF under the supervision of the Historical Section of the Army War College: World War Records; First Division, A.E.F., Regular in twenty-five volumes, and the German Documents in four volumes, containing translated war diaries from German units opposing the First Division. The strong collections of regimental histories for all periods, more fully discussed in the chapter on military science, includes holdings of exceptional importance for the United States, England, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

English regimental histories have generally appeared as separate works for individual military units, but some of the continental histories appear in long series, such as the Erinnerungsblätter deutscher Regimenter, Aus Deutschlands grosser Zeit; Heldentaten deutscher Regimenter, and Die Württembergischen Regimenter im Weltkrieg 1914-1918. The Italian War Ministry's Riassunti storici dei corpi e comandi nella guerra, 1915-1918

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may also be cited. While these volumes generally contain lists of those killed, and other materials, there are separate lists, such as the Italian War Ministry's Militari caduti nella guerra nazionale 1914-1918 and Ireland's Memorial Records, 1914-1918. In addition are publications such as the British War Office's Soldiers Died in the Great War, 1914-1919, its Weekly Casualty List, and the Austrian, Bavarian, and Prussian Verlustlisten.

Regional histories, which often contain lists of local residents participating in World War I, are found in both the American History Division and the Local History and Genealogy Division. Another source of service lists and obituaries is the large collection of memorial volumes published by colleges and similar organizations.