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American Women: Resources from the Manuscript Collections

World War I

Girl on the Land poster
Edward Penfield, artist. The girl on the land serves the nation's need. Apply Y.W.C.A. Land Service Committee. New York : The United States Printing & Lithograph Co. [1918]. Poster. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

As noted elsewhere in this guide (see especially Reform, Health and Medicine, and Congressional Collections), many of the division's collections concern women's relief work and their activities as nurses during the Spanish-American War and World War I. Other aspects of women's World War I experiences are illustrated in other collections.

The papers (21,500 items; 1900-1975; bulk 1955-75) of pioneer aviator Marjorie Claire Stinson (1896-1975) document her work as a flight instructor and reflect women's role in aviation during the First World War.

Emma L. George's papers (52 items; 1915-20) relate to her association with the Woman's Land Army of America, which recruited and trained women to work farms left untended by men in the military. Included are letters from appreciative farmers, poems and songs about the “farmerettes,” and recruitment and training material.

Several collections reflect women's efforts to memorialize those who participated in the Great War, including: American Gold Star Mothers, Inc. (4,000 items; 1917-41); Lydia S. M. Robinson (13,500 items; 1914-42, bulk 1914-18); Eva Roberts Cromwell Stotesbury (122 reels; 1914-19); and Mary Edith Powel (32,000 items; 1747-1922; bulk 1890-99).

Manuscript Resources Referenced

The following collection titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including finding aids for the collections, are included when available.