Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Archives Launches WWI Digital Exhibit

The First World War had an effect on communities across America, and Arkansas was no exception, as the war had a social and economic impact on our state.

Joining with the Department of Arkansas Heritage’s campaign to commemorate 100 years since World War I and to remember Arkansans’ efforts during the conflict, the Arkansas State Archives has launched “Arkansas in the Great War,” a three-part online exhibit chronicling the state during this period.

The exhibit was created through Google Arts & Exhibits and contains over 150 high resolution images of photographs, letters, government documents and maps that tell the story of Arkansas’s involvement in the war.

The first section, “Mobilizing the State for War,” profiles Arkansas before the U.S.’s entrance into the war and how the state mobilized to meet the challenge. Part two, “The War at Home,” examines the domestic impact the war had on Arkansans and explores the contributions of women and African Americans to the war effort. The last section, “In the Trenches,” details Arkansans serving in Europe and the events immediately following the end of the conflict.

Archival Assistant Brian Irby started the project over a year ago, initially as a book. However Irby changed it to an online exhibit when he saw that it would potentially reach more people. Becky Ballard worked with Irby on the exhibit, which included research, locating and digitizing materials, and writing descriptions.

Funding for the exhibit was supported by a Bridge Fund Endowment grant, a program created by the Arkansas Community Foundation that supports the teaching and promotion of Arkansas history.