Library of America traveling WWI exhibit comes to Frederick, MD library
“I’m not sure how many people even know why we entered the war."
By Nancy Lavin
via the Fredrick News Post web site
Walk through the doors of the C. Burr Artz Public Library in downtown Frederick and you’ll step back in time 100 years.
The exhibit that lines the interior walkway of the library transports viewers to the American experience during World War I. Black and white photographs, telegram messages, propaganda posters and newspaper clippings depict life at home and abroad during a pivotal but oft-forgotten time in history.
Highlighting that history and its relevance to conflict and society today is the intent behind Library of America’s “World War I and America” project. The project, tied to the 100th anniversary of the country’s entrance into WWI, includes a traveling exhibition from The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History available for local libraries and museums.
Frederick County Public Libraries was one of 120 applicants selected to host the exhibit, with corresponding grant funding for programming intended to foster relationships between modern-day veterans and civilians.
The exhibit will be on display at the downtown Frederick library through the end of the month, though presentations and related programming will continue through at least March 2018, according to Mary Mannix, manager of the Maryland Room.
Mannix, who submitted the grant application on behalf of Frederick County Public Libraries, emphasized the benefits of the project’s dual emphasis on history and modern-day veteran relations.
‘The forgotten war’
The Maryland Room, a historical research collection housed at the downtown Frederick library, has long collected military records as well as other material documenting the lives of soldiers and civilians during war. But the availability of primary-source material from World War I remains scarce, limited to three photo albums donated by a descendant of a Frederick man who fought overseas with the U.S. Army National Guard.
American knowledge of the “Great War” is similarly lacking, often overshadowed by World War II and more modern conflicts, according to Mannix.
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