New Exhibit: War Stories

The political causes and effects of war are well-documented by scholars and politicians, but the details of life during wartime are the provenance of the fighters on the ground, in the air, and at sea. Throughout recorded time, soldiers have shared their stories, told with humor, pathos, hope, and pride. In honor of Veterans Day, library staff have assembled a new exhibit, “War Stories,” featuring veterans’ experiences in their own words from across 2,000 years of human history.

Letter from Maximus
Letter from the soldier Maximus, circa 150 BCE, ink on clay

In 1941, Consolidated Book Publishers of Chicago published pocket-sized journals titled “My Life in the Service” for members of the armed forces, with blank pages intended to be filled with first-hand accounts of military life. A short introduction to this volume says it best:

Your experiences in the armed forces of your country are your part of living history. By all means KEEP A DIARY! Times without number, historians and writers have found more information of real human interest in the diaries of enlisted men than in the studied accounts of generals and admirals…Your personal record may supply vital information that is available at no other source.

Stop by Strozier Library between now and January 2016 to see “vital information” on display on the first floor, near the Special Collections Research Center.  All materials exhibited are from the holdings of FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives, and are available to researchers and the general public in the Special Collections Research Center in Strozier Library, Room 110.

In Flanders Field, 1921
From a 1921 edition of “In Flanders Fields”. Illustrated by Ernest Clegg

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