World War I: Online

The Library of Congress has opened an online portal to their World War I collection.

Today we launched a comprehensive portal to its extensive holdings on the subject of World War I (1914–1918) as part of our commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the U.S. involvement in the war. The portal is a one-stop destination page for digitized versions of many of these assets.

These remarkable collections include recruitment and wartime information posters, photos from the front, manuscripts and papers of prominent figures such as General John J. “Black Jack” Pershing, newspapers that provided the first draft of the war’s history, maps of campaigns and battle lines, sound recordings of prominent leaders of the era, war-related sheet music, even early film treasures.

Along with extensive access to these rare materials, the portal will include links to the online version of the Library’s major new exhibition, “Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I,” which opens April 4.

In addition, the portal will feature articles from our blogs, written by Library curators who will offer unique insight into the collections and highlight stories and materials that are most revealing about the war, and America’s involvement in it—before, during and after its military participation.

Learn more at the LOC WWI portal site.

Black History Collection at Fold3

February is Black History Month and Fold3 is making their Black History Collection free this month.

Fold3 is now revealing a side of the Black History story that few have seen before. View photos and documents found nowhere else on the internet. Connect your own history by adding your own stories, photos, and documents.

Records cover the following eras:

  • Slavery
  • The Civil War
  • Reconstruction & Jim Crow Laws
  • World Wars
  • Civil Rights Movement

Visit Black History at Fold3

War of 1812 Pension Files at Fold3

The documents in this collection include full pension application files for soldiers and sailors who served in the War of 1812, as well as for their widows and children, or other heirs. The first applications were filed by servicemen who were disabled as a result of their service, or by widows who lost a husband in the war.

The descriptive pamphlet for the Index to War of 1812 Pension Application Files, M313, published by NARA, provides a great deal of background and explanatory information about the pension files and the acts that provided for them.

So far 65% of this collection has been indexed. The War of 1812 Pension Files at Fold3 is currently accessible at no charge.

The American Legion’s Historical Archives

The American Legion’s Digital Archive has received a new batch of historical documents. Recently added is the full run of the National Legionnaire, a newspaper that ran more or less monthly from January 1935 through November 1948. The Legionnaire provided the latest news on Legion activities and priorities from across the country. It was folded into The American Legion Magazine as its own section in February 1949. 2017 will bring even more additions to the Digital Archive, including 30 years of press releases from the Legion’s news service. To learn how to use the archive, visit the American Legion website.

Source: The American Legion’s Historical Archives article at Military.com

World War II Research Guide

Professional researcher and WWII expert, Jennifer Holik has compiled a helpful WWII research guide using her past guest blog posts, which cover everything from reconstructing records destroyed by the infamous 1973 St. Louis fire to how to enhance your research using Fold3. She’s also given us step-by-step instructions on how to request WWII records.

Get Jennifer’s  World War II Research Guide at Ancestry Blog.

5 Sources for Civil War Unit Histories – Amy Johnson Crow

Broadening your researching into your Civil War ancestor beyond the pension records and service records can reveal new insight into the time he served. Unit histories can help you pinpoint where he was, what battles he fought in, what those battles were like, and other information that helps build context. Here are 5 sources for Civil War unit histories.

Details at 5 Sources for Civil War Unit Histories by Amy Johnson Crow.