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HISTORY: During the First World War, Great Britain produced numerous propagandistic tracts targeted to gain support for their war effort. Many of these were sent to the Mercantile Library and made available to readers. A strong German-American membership, however, was instrumental in their removal from the Reading Room, resulting in their preservation in the closed stacks of the Library for generations, until rediscovered, and boxed archivally for modern researchers. Since then, two more series have been added that present the American and the French point of view.
SCOPE: Series 1: This topical collection includes anti-German tracts published in Great Britain and France on such subjects as long-range German plans for world dominion, the holocaust in Armenia; destruction of Belgium; Red Cross relief efforts, and war conservation efforts. These materials span the war years, 1914-1918.
Series 2: This topical collection includes proaganda tracts and booklets regarding topics such as the American Red Cross, British and German ideals, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These materials span the years, 1914-1921.
Series 3: This topical collection includes foreign newspapers, written mainly in French, regarding WWI. These materials span the years, 1914-1919.
Series 1: Approximately 600 items, in individual folders, comprising three linear feet.
Series 2: Approximately 130 items, two per folder, comprising one linear foot.
Series 3: Approximately 90 items, comprising two boxes of material.
ACCESS: Special Collection M-115 is arranged alphabetically by author/title within Series 1 and 2. Within Series 3, the papers are not organized alphabetically, but there is an alphabetical list that can be used to access different papers. A published exhibition catalog exists: Words at War: The World War I Propaganda Pamphlets in the St. Louis Mercantile Library. An inventory list also exists for Series 2 and 3, which can be accessed online. Portions of the collection may be photocopied, digitally scanned, or photographed, depending on condition. A finding aid to this collection is available for download: