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The Great War: A Baylor University Museum Studies Exhibition

About this collection


World War I - or "The Great War," to those who lived through it - shaped the lives of countless people around the world from the opening salvos of 1914 until the armistice of November 11, 1918. Trench warfare, poison gas, the machine gun, airplane-based bombings and more were the most visible and longest-lasting effects of the war, but just as important were its impacts on more commonplace aspects of daily life at home and abroad.

This exhibition was curated, digitized and enhanced by the students of Museum Studies 5327: Technology and Outreach in Museums as a means of investigating the war's impact on three major elements of American life: its impact on religion, popular culture in the form of sheet music, and the direct impact on the city of Waco, Texas via the United States military's presence there from 1917-1918.


For this exhibition, teams of five students were assigned to explore their topics using a selection of archival materials drawn from the on-campus resources of Baylor University. To explore the exhibit, choose a topic below and view only the items curated for each theme, or choose "Browse This Exhibition" from the navigation bar above to see all items in this exhibit.


The Exhibits

Waco, Religion and the War
Rebekah Childers, Elise Embry, Hannah Haney, Amy Stell, Megan Wheat

The Waco community received daily news of the war from any of its several daily newspapers. These newspapers also included information pertaining to religion and the effect the war was having on Waco's houses of worship. This exhibit explores the ways in which the local media reported on the activities of Waco's church community in a time of international upheaval. 


The War and Popular Culture 
Chelsea Ferwerda, Katie Knight,  Rachael Nadeau, Megan Salinas, Kathleen Young

As America entered into an international conflict pitting nation again nation - and culture against culture - the struggle was reflected in some surprising avenues of everyday life, including the songs that were produced and performed in theaters, concert halls and living rooms across the country. This collection examines the impact of the war on popular culture as expressed in the themes, words, and imagery related to American popular sheet music produced between 1915 and 1920.


Waco and the U.S. Military
Amanda Dietz, Sarah Dodson, Margaret Hallinan, Steven Sielaff, Mary Ellen Stanley

In the span of just two short years, Waco's status as a burgeoning metropolitan area was thrust onto the national scene when it became home to two major military installations beginning in 1917. Waco was chosen as the home of both Rich Field and Camp MacArthur by the United States Department of War, and soon a flood of young men rushed into the city for training. This exhibit explores the impact the U.S. military had on the city of Waco, primarily through photographs of the men and materiel of war.  



User Note

The Baylor University Libraries strive to make our digital collection resources available and useful to our faculty, staff, students, alumni, researchers, and the general public. Through our Web sites, the Libraries offer broad public access to a wide range of information, including historical materials that may contain offensive language or negative stereotypes. Such materials must be viewed in the context of the relevant time period. Baylor University does not endorse the views expressed in such materials.



Exhibition Sources

Materials for this exhibition were drawn from items held by the Baylor University Central Libraries, the Institute for Oral History, Crouch Fine Arts Library and the Texas Collection. The makers of this exhibition express their thanks to these partner institutions for their assistance in this project.



The Baylor University Museum Studies Program

For more information on the Museum Studies Department, please visit their website.




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