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It was known as “The Great War” because of its massive scale. Now, nearly 100 years later, a massive array of historical documents from World War I has yet to be preserved. As KSMU’s Jennifer Davidson reports, the Springfield-Greene County Library district is part of a new effort to document Missouri’s World War I history in a completely digital format.
The project is called “Over There: Missouri and the Great War.” The library district has joined hands with the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis and the Museum of Osteopathic Medicine in Kirskville to take documents, pictures, and artifacts from the war and propel them into the 21st century.
The result, they hope, will be a digital archive showing how Missouri soldiers, factories, and farmers impacted World War I. According to the Missouri State Archives, more than 156,000 Missourians served in the war. Missouri exported mules to France, since the strong animals were still the most efficient way to transport heavy field artillery.
According to a release from the library district, the partners will soon begin canvassing the state searching for WWI collections, including private collections and family heirlooms.
The centennial remembrance of the war will begin in 2014.
The partners of "OverThere: Missouri and the Great War”received a $47,803 Library Services and Technology Act Digital Imaging grant from the Missouri State Library to develop the project. The grant was funded by the Institute of Museum and Library Services, according to the Springfield-Greene County Library District.
For KSMU News, I’m Jennifer Davidson.