As part of a long-term State Library project to make as many collections as possible available to the public through the web, we have been at work since late 2007 digitizing a collection of World War I portraits given to the State Library by the Boston Globe in 1935. With over 8,000 photographs and three times as many corresponding biographical cards, we have also created a database that includes basic information about each soldier – assignment, rank, merit awards, and sometimes even extra facts from newspaper clippings.
On July 20, scanning was finally completed—8,487 New England soldiers yielded over 11,000 images! The final photograph is of J.W. Zwinge, member of the 101st Field Artillery, Battery A. Although the last photo scan suggests the end of an era, the database will continue to grow with over 25,000 biographical cards that have yet to be added. In addition, over the coming months these images will be added to our digital repository. To view a selection of photos from the collection, please visit the State Library's Flickr page.