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LoC announces broad range of WW1 programs, publications

By Donna Urschel
Visitor Services Office, Library of Congress

Thomas Jefferson Building Aerial by Carol M. HighsmithTo commemorate the 100th anniversary of the U.S. entry into World War One, the Library of Congress is offering an array of exhibitions, lectures, symposia, blogs, publications, digitized collections, Victory Gardens, veterans’ stories, educational tools, film programs and research guides.

The Library is uniquely prepared to tell the story of U.S. participation in World War One, because it holds the largest multi-format collection of materials on the American experience in the Great War. The “war to end all wars” began for this country on April 6, 1917, when the U.S. Congress formally declared war on the German Empire, and concluded Nov. 11, 1918, with the armistice agreement.

Events are free and open to the public. Tickets are required or suggested for certain lectures. The programs will take place at the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., or at its James Madison Memorial Building, 101 Independence Ave. S.E., both in Washington, D.C.


The Library’s WW1 programming will include:

World War I on LOC.GOV

On Feb. 15, the Library will launch a World War I web portal, providing comprehensive access to the Library’s World War I resources and programming. Featured content will include digitized collections, such as World War I Posters; Maps of Military Battles and Campaigns; World War I Sheet Music; The Stars and Stripes Newspaper; and the Veterans History Project. Resources for K-12 teachers, blog posts, guidance for researchers, exhibitions, lectures, symposia and other events will be listed.


“World War I: American Artists View the Great War”

May 7, 2016 – August 19, 2017, 
Graphic Arts Galleries, Ground Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

This exhibition focuses on the American artistic response to World War I, featuring posters, political cartoons, illustrations, fine prints, popular prints, documentary photographs and fine art photographs.

“Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I”

April 4, 2017 – January 2019, Southwest Gallery, Second Floor, Thomas Jefferson Building

This major exhibition will mark the United States’ involvement in the Great War, from April 6, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918. The exhibition will examine the upheaval of world war, as Americans experienced it—domestically and overseas. Initially, it will feature 200 items, but during its 21-month run, numerous other artifacts will be rotated into the display.


“Paul Hindemith’s Musical Responses to WWI”

Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017, Noon, Whittall Pavilion, Jefferson Building

By Nicholas A. Brown, Music Division, Library of Congress

Free, tickets available, visit www.loc.gov/concerts for more information

“World War I Sheet Music at the Library of Congress: America’s War, as Viewed by Publishers and the Public”

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Noon, Whittall Pavilion, Jefferson Building

By Paul Fraunfelter, Music Division, Library of Congress

Free, tickets available, visit www.loc.gov/concerts for more information

“Johnnies, Tommies and Sammies: Music and the WWI Alliance”

Thursday, May 18, 2017, 7 p.m., Montpelier Room, Madison Building

An American Musicological Society lecture by Christina Bashford, William Brooks, Gayle Sherwood Magee, Laurie Matheson, Justin Vickers

Free, tickets required, visit www.loc.gov/concerts for more information

“America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History”

Thursday, June 8, 2017 Noon, Mumford Room, Madison Building

Books and Beyond Author Program By Margaret Wagner, the book’s writer/editor

Free, tickets not needed

“Literature of WWI: Yusef Komunyakaa”

Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 Noon to 1:30 p.m., Mumford Room, Madison Building

Poet Komunyakaa will discuss favorite WWI authors and discuss his own work

Free, tickets not needed


“Resistance and Rights: Civil Liberties and World War One”

Thursday, June 8, 2017 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., Montpelier Room, Madison Building

Hosted by the Law Library of Congress and Manuscript Division

Free, tickets not needed


“America and the Great War: A Library of Congress Illustrated History”

This major book, published by the Library of Congress, presents personal stories, political and military battles, tragedies and epic achievements that marked the U.S. involvement in the first modern war. The book goes on sale in May.

Victory Gardens

The Architect of the Capitol will plant WWI-style Victory Gardens in two beds on the south side of the Jefferson Building along Independence Avenue and in a bed in the Jefferson’s southwest courtyard, during the spring/summer 2017 and spring/summer 2018 seasons.

Educational Tools

“WWI: What Are We Fighting for Over There?”

Lesson plans for teachers that let students explore the debate about entering the war using Library of Congress primary sources

World Digital Library at www.wdl.org

The Library’s World Digital Library project, a national and international collaboration of library partners in more than 80 countries, will feature digitized versions of rare maps, photographs, prints, books and manuscripts about World War I contributed by these partners, highlighting the global nature of the conflict.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States—and extensive materials from around the world—both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office.

More information

Read more about the Library's ambitious World War One Centennial Commemoration plans here.

Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at loc.gov; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at congress.gov; and register creative works of authorship at copyright.gov.

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