Books for Soldiers: World War I Style

During World War I the American Library Association undertook a massive campaign to get reading material in the hands of our soldiers.

One of their initiatives to bolster Army libraries was to set-up camp outside the New York Public Library.

These images portray the campaign’s efforts and astounding success.

The history of these efforts is covered in-depth in the seminal work by Theodore Wesley Koch; Books in the War: The Romance of the Library War Service that was published in 1919 by Houghton Mifflin.

cover of Books in War courtesy of book patrol

In the upper-left corner of the first image above you can see part of the same image used for the cover illustration of Books in War. It is the iconic Books Wanted for our Men in Camp and “Over There”, poster by Charles Buckles Falls, 1918. 

illustration from Books in War courtesy of book patrol


h\t to Retronaut for gathering most of these amazing images for their post: Call for book donations, New York Public Library, c.1918 | 

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