Detail from program flier for Sacramento (Calif.) Public Library's World War I programming.

Bridging Past and Present

November 9, 2018

Beginning in 2016, Library of America (LOA) awarded grants to 120 libraries around the country as part of its World War I and America program. The grants were created to support library programming that would bring together US veterans and their communities through shared exploration of firsthand writings from WWI. To establish the connection between … Continue reading Bridging Past and Present


Sarah Simms and Hayley Johnson of Louisiana State University discuss their research on the Camp Livingston internment camps at "The Accidental Researcher: a Case Study in Librarian-led Historical Research and Social Justice" on June 24 at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference.

How Two Academic Librarians Became Accidental Historical Researchers

June 25, 2018

For Hayley Johnson and Sarah Simms, speakers at “The Accidental Researcher: a Case Study in Librarian-led Historical Research and Social Justice” on June 24 at the 2018 ALA Annual Conference, their research on the Camp Livingston internment camps started with a May 2016 newspaper article on letters from interned World War II–era Japanese American children. Johnson, head of … Continue reading How Two Academic Librarians Became Accidental Historical Researchers


Children read in the Soissons Library in Aisne, France, after World War I. Photo: ALA Archives

The French Connection

February 16, 2017

Anne Tracy Morgan, daughter of financier John Pierpont (J. P.) Morgan, was the mind and money behind the volunteer mobilization. Morgan was a frequent visitor to France. When war broke out, she threw herself into relief work for the Allied cause. In 1917, she created the American Committee for Devastated France, better known as CARD … Continue reading The French Connection


First page of War Libraries: Official Organ of the War Service Committee, American Library Association, 1918.

The Library War Service

February 18, 2016

The ALA established its Library War Service in 1917 to provide books and library services to US soldiers and sailors both in training at home and serving in Europe. This second book drive in early 1918 generated 3 million books, many going overseas, others ending up on the shelves of 36 training-camp libraries erected through … Continue reading The Library War Service


Columbia University History Professor Eric Foner. Photo by Daniela Zalcman.

Newsmaker: Eric Foner

October 27, 2015

Your most recent book is a fascinating look at the Underground Railroad and antislavery networks of pre–Civil War New York City. Explain how you came across the document that shed new light on these events. ERIC FONER: It was totally accidental. Madeline Lewis, an undergraduate history major at Columbia who also worked for my family … Continue reading Newsmaker: Eric Foner