500 Unique Items from World War I Era Digitized

We at the Northfield History Collaborative (NHC), a digital library of historical records from the Northfield area, are pleased to announce that we have completed a grant-funded project to digitize historical materials that document the World War I era in Northfield and Rice County, Minnesota. The digitized materials come from many of the NHC’s 16 partner organizations and include text documents, photographs, illustrations, artifacts, and even sheet music. The new online collection shares the experiences of individuals from the...

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Massive Record of Soldiers Book Uploaded

We at the NHC are pleased to announce that we have completed the digitization of an incredibly rich resource detailing the service of Rice County servicemen during World War I. This┬áRecord of Soldiers in the World War ledger was compiled by the Rice County War Records Committee during and after the war. They intended to keep a record of every man from the county who served using a two-sided form – although we have found that some forms are more filled out than others. As you can imagine, capturing the information for so many people was...

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WWI Community Organizations

In my previous posts, I have highlighted some interesting archival documents that tell stories of Northfield experiences during World War I both at home and abroad. Today, I’ll provide more examples of community organizations that arose during and after the war. Entertainment at the home front was militarized for a short time during the war. You can see evidence of it in the formation of the Dundas Band and Military Company. Prior to 1917, the Dundas Military Company and the Dundas Brass Band existed separately. The two organizations...

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More Digitized Resources Available Online

Over the last few months, I have been busy with my World War I digitization project for the Northfield History Collaborative. To see all 460+ and counting unique items online, go to http://northfieldhistorycollaborative.org and click on the “World War I in Northfield” link near the bottom of the page. The stories that can be found among the digitized materials of the NHC are set in locations both near and far. For example, Northfield-area serviceman Irwin F. Smith, a sergeant in Division Intelligence of the 88th Division, was...

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Friday the 13th during World War I

If you think that Friday the 13th is an unlucky date, you are not alone. 99 years ago, Northfield resident Homer Mason agreed with you in principle, but his experiences during World War I made him begin to think that perhaps Friday the 13th was not such a bad thing, after all. Homer served in the Signal Corps in Tours, France, south of Paris during the fall of 1918. As a radio operator, he was well aware of news from the front as well as from home. In two of his letters, he makes reference to the unluckiness of Friday the 13th, but considering...

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Propaganda Posters from World War I

Propaganda posters from World War I have very striking, sometimes disturbing designs and messages. Today’s audiences might laugh them off but at the time they were very successful at uniting the American home front to support the war. Check out some of my favorites from the Rice County Historical Society‘s collection here and also on the...

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