Women's Studies Section

Association of College & Research Libraries / American Library Association
World War II: A Digital Project
Primary Source Types for Women's Studies  TEXT
Government Documents
Subjects for Women's Studies Economic Status
Labor / Employment
United States
World War, 1939-1945
Coverage Dates


Archive is Ongoing / Completed Ongoing
Publisher Southern Methodist University
URL http://worldwar2.smu.edu/
Date Searched January 2007


World War II: A Digital Library provides a gateway to more than 6,000 pages of vintage material, ranging from monographs to pamphlets. Material was published by the United State Government Print Office and distributed by the Federal Depository Library Program as part of the war effort during World War II. Also included is the Melvin C. Shaffer War Collection of photography from North Africa (1943), Italy and Southern France (1944-1945), and Germany (1945) as well as a collection of pocket guides to foreign nations prepared for U.S. servicemen between 1943 and 1944.

Women's Studies Content

The text materials point to the extensive role women played in the workplace during this time period. Monographs published by the Government Printing Office deal with issues of workplace safety, advice to employers on integrating women into a traditionally male work environment, and the contributions of women employees to the war effort, including African American and Native American women. There are also publications on coping with wartime rations as well as a publication entitled She Looked Clean, But … warning U.S. servicemen about the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.

The photograph collection contains images of women in North Africa, Italy, Southern France, and Germany in settings at work and at leisure as well as settings that show the aftermath of the conflict. A short narrative is included with each image, providing useful context for the photograph.


Both the general collection and the pocket guide collection can be browsed by title. Individual records for these materials are a catalog record with full description (including contents, summary, and subject headings) with a link to the digitized resource.

The simple search option offers searching for author, title, subject, keyword within author, title or subject, and keyword anywhere. Subjects are the Library of Congress Subject Headings. Advanced searching, “Build Your Own,” permits searching a combination of the following fields: keyword anywhere, subject keyword, author keyword, title keyword, publisher information, SuDoc call number, contents, summary, or series title.

The three photograph collections (North Africa, Italy / Southern France, and Germany) permit browsing by image, subject, or title. Searching in the photograph collection is matched against photograph location, title, description, or subject (people, places, events, themes). Locations are based on the Getty Thesaurus of Place Names and subjects are based on Library of Congress Subject Headings. Within individual images, there are subject links to related photographs.

Truncation yes (automatic)
Boolean yes (AND, NOT, OR)
Phrase Searching yes (advanced search option only / use " ")
Help Screens/Quality yes / good
Controlled Vocabulary yes
Keywords in Context yes (Photography Collection only)

Archive Review:
Toby Matoush
San Jose State University

Last updated: January 16, 2007

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