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War in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

World War I Poster Collection, 1917-1919

The World War I Poster Collection is comprised of propaganda posters generated by the United States Food Administration, the United States Treasury Department, the American Red Cross, the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA), and other charitable organizations in support of the United States and its allies in World War I. The collection contains numerous posters related to food austerity, U.S. war bond and stamp sales, and the United War Work Campaign of 1918.

Access to this collection is limited. The University of Washington's archival holdings include a substantial collection of propaganda posters from World Wars I and II. Those posters can be accessed online here: University of Washington War Posters Collection.

Ulysses Grant McAlexander Collection, 1883-1964

The Ulysses Grant McAlexander Collection documents McAlexander's military activities, particularly his involvement in the Second Battle of the Marne in France in July 1918, his training at West Point and his years as commandant of cadets at Oregon Agricultural College. Of special note is a complete run of the publication Stars and Stripes, a newspaper for military personnel during the war.

Edwin Russell Jackman Papers, 1917-1970

The Edwin Russell Jackman Papers include articles written for OSU publications and bulletins, national publications and specialized trade publications; news releases; radio and television talks; speeches; and manuscripts of E.R. Jackman's published books pertaining to Oregon agriculture. Series II: Correspondence contains material related to World War I in the Personal Correspondence subseries, and Series IV: Personal Records contains a diary Jackman kept during his service in the war, as well as records of Jackman's military service.

John T. and Virginia E. Merrifield Collection, 1916-2008

The John T. and Virginia E. Merrifield Collection contains two scrapbooks that were assembled by Virginia and contain correspondence, event programs, photographs, newspaper clippings, and publications documenting John's engineering career and the military service of Virginia's father, Arthur Broderson, in World War I. 

Gerald W. Williams Collection on the Army Spruce Production Division, 1916-1996

The Gerald W. Williams Collection on the Army Spruce Production Division consists of materials acquired by U.S. Forest Service historian Gerald Williams that document activities managed by the Division as well as its administration. The U.S. Army established the Spruce Production Division (SPD) on November 17, 1917, seven months after the country entered World War I. Charged with the mission of dramatically increasing the harvest and milling of Sitka spruce for aircraft construction, the SPD coordinated the employment of troops to work in logging camps and sawmills alongside their "civilian" counterparts. By the summer of 1918, the Army decided to administer the production of aircraft lumber more directly and transformed the SPD into a government corporation which managed all aspects of the harvest and distribution of the milled spruce. The photographs and publications that make up about half of this collection reflect the logging. milling, and transport of spruce lumber in Oregon and Washington coordinated by the division. Associated activities include images of logging camps, the construction of railroad infrastructure, and division members visiting nearby towns. Transcripts of interviews with Division members illustrate the daily life of the logging camps and the harvesting of the spruce trees. Notes and reference materials amassed by Gerald Williams over the course of researching the Division and its head, General Brice Disque, include photocopies of newspaper articles, magazines, book chapters, and archival collection material. A conference paper resulting from this research is also part of the collection. Images relating to the Spruce Production Division can also found online at Oregon Digital. Publications about the Division are available online at ScholarsArchive@OSU.

Students' Army Training Corps Records, 1918-1919

The Students' Army Training Corps (SATC) Records document this World War I training program at Oregon Agricultural College. The records include financial reports and contracts; correspondence pertaining to equipment purchases; course descriptions, instructors, and registrations statistics; and rosters of SATC participants.

Oregon State University Military Photographs Collection, 1875-1975

The Oregon State University Military Photographs Collection consists of images of military education and cadets at Oregon State from various sources and time periods. Individual images include portraits and group shots of military cadets and officers, as well as reviews, formations, training, and instructional materials. Photographs are arranged chronologically by historical era. The series on World War I contains photographs and glass lantern slides dating from 1916, before the U.S. entry into the war. Uniforms and training reflected the world wide conflict and are indicated in the photographs. SATC (Student Army Training Corps) and early ROTC cadets are featured, as well as a subseries of portraits of General Ulysses Grant McAlexander.

Oregon State University Memorabilia Collection, ca. 1860-present

The OSU Memorabilia Collection contains numerous items related to OSU history, including files documenting World War I.

  • Folder 153: Students Army Training Corps. Address by President Kerr "The Call of the Land Grant College in War Time" (1917), correspondence, Report: The Effect of the War on OAC (1919), School of Pharmacy and SATC (1918), Barometer articles (1918), personal correspondence requesting information about SATC for history book (1929), "The American Navy During the War" report , "the German Aim - World Domination" period paper, Correspondence from Senator Chamberlain about military training (1915), SATC application forms and brochures
  • Folder 167: World War I. Correspondence regarding War Revenue Stamp Tax exemption for college (1917), Gold Star Memorial Service program (1919)

Clair V. Langton Papers, 1914-1973

The Clair V. Langton Papers consist of materials created and assembled by Langton, primarily during his years as faculty member in physical and health education at Oregon State University from 1928 until 1964. Series V, Military Records, includes correspondence, orders, papers, military ephemera, and handbooks pertaining to Langton's military service in the U.S. Army and the Michigan National Guard and his later participation in military training activities.

Cooke Family Letters, 1867-1956

The Cooke Family Letters are comprised of over one hundred letters written by members of the Herman Wilhelm Cooke family, an Oregon family who migrated to the Pacific Northwest in 1880. Herman wrote several other letters of interest. In one, dated August 9, 1894, Herman writes to Daniel of the “train wrecking and other acts of lawlessness committed in [California] by the strikers and others,” likely referring to the widespread railroad strikes of July 1894. On February 26, 1898, Herman discusses the possibility of a war with Spain, and expresses a wish for a war if it would free Cuba from “Spanish dominion.” Several decades later, on March 25, 1916, Herman discusses World War I, and his feelings about Germans.

OSU Publications

A variety of university publications - including those listed below - can support research on a multitude of topics, including World War II.

  • Course Catalogs: Looking at course catalogs for the war years can show the war's effect on the campus. 
  • OSU Yearbooks: These can also show how the campus was affected during the war years.
  • The Daily Barometer: The school newspaper has many pieces on OAC students and activities surrounding the war.
  • Annual Reports: These summarize the activities of OAC during each year of the war.

Books on World War I

In the library's online catalog, try a broad subject search on World War, 1914-1918, and limit the dates from 1914 to 1920. You could also try limiting your search from 1914 to 1920 and try keywords like soldier*, poetry, or war.

Collection of Historical Newspaper Issues, 1723-1941

This collection contains issues of the soldiers' newspaper Trench and Camp from 1918.

Harriet's Photograph Collection, 1868-1996

Harriet's Photograph Collection, named for the University's first archivist, Harriet Moore, includes one folder, HC 1554 (Student Army Training Corps), with World War I content.

College Bulletins

See digitized versions of these here, or view the physical items in SCARC at LD4337 .A2 HistOSU.

  • 255. Syllabus military business practice. Winfield Dryden. 6 p. March 1917.
  • 269. Military science lectures as given at the Oregon agricultural college in 1916-17. Vernon A. Caldwell. 14 p. October 1917.
  • 274. Compilation of useful military information. Cyrus Franklin Duggar. 20 p. January 1918.
  • 285. War training and military units of 0. A. C. 11, [1] p. June 1918.
  • 287. Student army training corps. Folder. July 1918.
  • 288. Types of military, training at the Oregon agricultural college. 20 p. August 1918.
  • 289. Students army training corps. [5] p. August 1918. (Revised to September 1918.)
  • 295. Inauguration of the students' army training corps. 15, [1] p. November 1918.
  • 296. Education for enlisted men. Folder. December 1918.
  • 306. Summer school course in military training, 1919. [4] p. May 1919.
  • 311. State financial aid for soldiers, sailors, and marines. Folder. August 1919.
  • 330. Military instruction at Oregon agricultural college. 15 P. May 1920
  • 362. History of the military department. 31 p. September 1921.