Library War Service photos, 1916-1919

I’m back with more Library War Service material!  Since right now I’m specifically researching the women’s uniforms of the service, I’m going to post only the photos that show women librarians in uniform, but I’ll link to their source webpages so readers interested in more can click through.

First, an awesome book drive event at the New York Public Library:

Uniformed librarian making announcement at NYPL war library book drive

Twenty-Two Words has a post with some more photos, including this, as an example of the kind of library being served by the drive:

War Library in France

The Bentley Historical Library at University of Michigan has digitized some contemporary publications, listed here:
http://bentley.umich.edu/legacy-support/ww1/war-relief.php
Clicking the links takes you to their library catalog pages for the items, but the catalog entries include a link to the Google Books version of each one, and you can add the books to your Google Play Books library or download PDFs from there.

As mentioned previously, the American Library in Paris has an excellent tumblr which features scanned photos from their archives (and scanned backs of photos with notes from various decades).  Here are more of their photos– as noted above, these are just the ones showing the women’s librarian uniform, so if you’re interested in images of soldiers reading or loading books into ships and trucks, or permanent and temporary buildings used to house field libraries, definitely take a deeper look.

Staff photo on steps of field library

Black and white photograph of ALA staff, Camp Pontanezen Library, Brest, France. Notes on back of photograph read: Le personnel & la Direction de l’ALA du Camp Pontanezen – Brest. The staff at Pontanezen on the library steps. The war had not yet killed the era of the shirtwaist and the Gibson girl hair-do. (Photo through COVERAGE from the American Library Association, which MUST be credited). Source: the American Library in Paris archives, file 1, no. 3.

Field library circulation desk

Black and white photograph of a soldiers reading at Place du Chateau, Brest, France. Notes on back of photograph read: Brest – Pontanezen. Typical of overseas libraries in big permanent camps was the one at Camp Pontanezen, at the Brest base. From this circulation desk, soldiers drew the books they wanted. (Photo through COVERAGE from American Library Association, which must be credited).“G. Gorce Editions d’Art. 354. Publications illustrees. 19, rue Lafayette, PARIS 8e. 355. Source: the American Library in Paris archives, file 1, no. 4.

Technical Services and Collection Management at the future American Library in Paris

Black and white photograph of ALA employees selecting and arranging books at 10, rue de l’Elysée, the future home of the American Library in Paris. Notes on back of photo: G. Gorce Editions d’Art. 354. Publications illustrees. 19, rue Lafayette, PARIS 8e. 370 Additional note, attached to photo: First floor. (Present periodical room.) Books were selected and arranged here to send ? Paris camps + hospitals. 1918.

Picking books to transfer to shipboard collection. They’re holding the lid of a crate of books, with some books stuck to it, which explains why they both look like they’re holding in laughs.

Notes on back of photo: Door entering ALA headquarters in U.S. Army P.O. bldg. Miss. Milberon the ALA librarian at Lavernay hospital center. A sailor from the “Kerowles” who came to select books for his ship. The lid of an ALA box of books just opened to which a number of books are sticking because they were wet. Mr. Ranck’s series. #22. E.B. Thompson, 741 11th St. N.W.

I’m not sure if the woman at the center of this photo is a uniformed librarian– her hat isn’t one I understand to be official.  However, her matching tunic and skirt seem like they’d be the right color?

Black and white photograph of soldiers in a reading room of an ALA library in Tours, France. Notes on back of photo: Tours. G. Gorce Editions d’art, publications illustrees. 19, rue Lafayette, Paris, 9e.

Puns in library signage: probably as old as time.  (Somebody help me speculate on signage at Alexandria.)  The uniformed librarian at center front is flanked by two women in civilian clothes, I think– their outfits don’t look like other uniforms of the time.

Black and white photograph of Group of library personnel, France. Notes on back of photo: L’ibrary circa 1919. Early book service station (whereabouts unknown). Note ALA worker (director?) in center of bottom row, wearing distinctive ALA uniform.

The Home Front of war libraries.  I’m not sure if these women are in uniform, either– the only one that seems especially likely is the woman second from right in the white blouse and dark tie.  Pretty good view of their shoes, though.

Black and white photograph of library personnel preparing books at the Hoboken, NJ ALA library war service dispatch office. Notes on back of photo: Preparing books at the ALA dispatch office, Hoboken, NJ. For shipment to our men in France. Source: the American Library in Paris archives, file 1, no. 100

Thanks again to the American Library in Paris for providing their great ditigal archive!

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Library War Service photos, 1916-1919

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