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Women in World War I collection

Identifier: MS 078


This collection contains original and reproduction materials such as books, correspondence, photographs, postcards, magazines, posters and sheet music dating from the period of World War I (1914-1918) that represent the roles of women in the war. Images and published material depict women in traditional and non-traditional roles such as nursing, volunteer and military service, and factory and farm work. Themes such as femininity, feminism, patriotism, sacrifice and service are represented through the iconography of the materials. Both European and American and Caucasian and African-American women are represented in the collection. Also included beyond the primary scope of this collection is the correspondence of a male soldier to his parents.


  • 1907-1929,
  • Majority of material found within 1914-1918


Language of Material

All materials in English, German, French, Spanish.

Restrictions on Access

Access unrestricted.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Photocopying and publication may be restricted by copyright although it is believed that the majority of the materials are in the public domain. Permission to publish must be secured from the repository and copyright holder..

Biographical / Historical

With the recruitment and conscription of large numbers of men into the armed forces of the United States in 1917 and 1918, women were recruited to fill supporting rolls such as nursing sick and injured soldiers, providing wholesome entertainment such as musical entertainment and reading material and providing personal necessities such as clothing and toiletry needs through non-governmental organizations such as church organizations and the Red Cross and Salvation Army. Women also assisted governmental organizations with conservation and recruitment efforts and sales of war bonds to finance the war and enlisted in military service where they served as drivers and in other non-combat roles. With men away in military service women also filled factory, munitions and farm work jobs to support the war effort. In addition, women served in a variety of other, traditionally male, jobs such as policemen, firefighters, postal workers, bus and train conductors, ticket takers, etc. As a result of doing their part to support the war effort and proving to be equal to men, the women’s suffrage movement gained momentum, resulting in women winning the right to vote through the passage and ratification of the 19th amendment in 1919-1920.


1.33 Linear feet (4 boxes)


Collection: Organized into series by type of material such as books, correspondence, photographs, postcards, magazines, posters and sheet music. Arranged and described to the item-level.

Ownership and Custodial History

All materials were collected by Franklin and Marshall College Professor of Anthropology Misty L. Bastian between 2012 and 2013. They were deposited in the Archives and Special Collections of Franklin and Marshall College for safekeeping in August 2013 and gifted to the College in 2016.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--All materials in this collection were acquired as a gift from Misty L. Bastian in June 2016..


No further accruals are expected.

Related Archival Materials

World War I Poster Collection: Custodian--Archives and Special Collections, Franklin and Marshall College: Address--Lancaster, PA, Country--USA..

Related Archival Materials

Womens Studies Collection (MS 42): Custodian--Archives and Special Collections, Franklin and Marshall College: Address--Lancaster, PA, Country--USA..

Publications About Described Materials

Portions of this collection were exhibited in 2013 at Franklin and Marshall College’s Phillips Museum of Art and Shadek-Fackenthal Library as part of an exhibition on women in World War I in commemoration of the centenary of World War I.

Processing Information

Processed by Julie Kopperman (2013) and Michael Lear (2017). Description based on DACS.

Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Franklin and Marshall College Special Collections Repository

PO Box 3003
Lancaster PA 17604 United States