Seeking World War I Materials

This coming July marks 100 years since the start of World War I in Europe. Archives, museums, and cultural institutions around the world are preparing a variety of WWI centennial activities for the next 5 years, and Wright State University Special Collections & Archives is no exception.

As part of our World War I commemoration efforts, we are seeking new donations of World War I manuscript materials.

In particular, we are looking for historical materials that document WWI and have a connection to either the Miami Valley or to aviation history (or both).

Relevant materials might document these and other topics:

  • experiences of Miami Valley residents or natives who served in WWI (e.g., soldiers, sailors, pilots, nurses, engineers, relief workers, etc.);
  • activities on the home front in the Miami Valley, including everyday life as well as war-related activities (e.g., war industry, relief efforts, politics, patriotism, isolationism, nativism, anti-German sentiments, etc.); and
  • all aspects of aviation history during WWI regardless of geography (e.g., aircraft design and manufacturing, pilots’ experiences and training, aerial combat and reconnaissance, military air forces of the various countries involved, etc.).

The types of documents sought might include (but are not limited to): letters, diaries, photographs, postcards, scrapbooks, memoirs, business records, engineering drawings, maps, regimental histories, etc.

In addition to building our World War I collection holdings so we can preserve these resources for present and future researchers, this effort will also support the WWI collaboration between Wright State University and Dayton History Inc., described in this April 2, 2014, Dayton Daily News article (premium content).

For more information about donating materials, please visit our Collection Donations page, or contact us directly by phone at (937) 775-2092 or by email at

A few items from our existing WWI collections are featured in the image gallery below. Click on an image to enlarge it. For more examples, have a look at the finding aids of our existing WWI collections.

We are excited about accepting new collections documenting the World War I history of the Miami Valley and the aviation world, and we look forward to preserving these collections and making them accessible for researchers!

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