Although the conditions that led to World War I, or The Great War, as it was called before the Second World War, had been developing for decades, it was the assassination of one man in Sarajevo on June 29, 1914, that ultimately sparked the outbreak of war. When the heir to their throne was gunned down, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Each nation’s allies became involved, and soon every major European superpower was at war. War continued for four years, with the United States declaring war on Germany and its allies in 1917. The end of the war came in November 1918.
There had never been such a conflict before, and, in addition to the large-scale loss of life and human suffering it caused, there were also far-reaching consequences that forever changed the world as it was known.
With this important anniversary going on for the next few years, we can expect to see more discussion and analysis of the events from 100 years ago. The following is a list of resources compiled by UAPL reference librarians that pertain to World War I and its influence over virtually every part of the world. Now is a good time to review and dig deeper into information about “the first modern war.”
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- World at War: Understanding Conflict and Society - Choose World War I under the Explore a War section in this database to discover overview information, detailed articles, primary source documents, images, maps and more.
- Artemis Literary Sources - WWI was unprecedented in the flood of writings that came from all nationalities and classes of people. Read about the poetry, novels and memoirs of World War I, as well as criticisms, biographies, primary works and more by searching in this literature database.
- New York Times Historical Newspapers – Use the Timeline feature of this database to find a compilation of historical newspaper coverage of events as they unfolded during World War I.
- National Geographic Virtual Library - Explore National Geographic Magazine issues from time period 1914-1918 for in-depth articles about different aspects of the War.
The following are websites that cover important and interesting aspects of World War I.
- History.com: World War I - This topic page from the History Channel includes videos, images and articles covering the Great War.
- BBC: World War One - From a European point of view, the BBC offers a topic page of their own.
- The Liberty Memorial and National World War I Museum – Located in Kansas City, Missouri, the Liberty Memorial was dedicated in 1926 to the fallen soldiers of The Great War. Near the end of the 20th century, the monument was restored, and a museum was built on site. Learn more about the location and check out some online exhibits of World War I memorabilia.
- Mental Floss: World War I Centennial – The publication known for covering more obscure and interesting stories and trivia presents ongoing coverage of the events of World War I as they happened 100 years ago.
- World War I in Photos - The Atlantic presents a 10-part series of photos that progress from the events leading to war up to current-day images of battlefields, cemeteries and memorials
- Ohio History Central: World War I – Read about Ohio’s contribution to the war effort in this brief article from the Ohio Historical Society
The following titles are always available for use in the Reference Department of the Main Library.
- A Global Chronology of Conflict - Volume four in this series contains a detailed chronology of the events surrounding World War I. Also included are essays on weapons and leaders involved.
- Encyclopedia of World War I: A Political, Social, and Military History - The scope of World War I is vast, and this five-volume encyclopedia with hundreds of entries is beneficial to anyone studying or reading about the conflict.
- Soldier and Sailor Words and Phrases - This unique reference source, published in 1925, is a dictionary of British and American war slang, expressions and nicknames used during World War I.
- The Great War: A Guide to the Service Records of All the World's Fighting Men and Volunteers - An invaluable resource for those researching their ancestry, this book is a guide on how to find information on World War I soldiers from every participating country.
Whether studying the history or literature of WWI, maps are essential to understanding the events and consequences of the war. These are some excellent titles located in the Reference Department with extensive information on the War.
- The West Point Atlas of American Wars, Vol. 2
- First World War Atlas
- The Palgrave Concise Historical Atlas of the First World War
Search our catalog to find and request non-fiction and fiction books on aspects of World War I that interest you. Some examples of subtopics include: