Monday, January 12, 2015

WWI 26th Yankee Division Photograph Digitization Project Is Now Complete!

Corp. George E. Bennett, Co. A.,
104th Infantry
In November of 2014, the State Library of Massachusetts completed the final stages of its World War I photograph digitization project.  The project, which began in 2007, oversaw the digitization of more than 11,000 images, with 8,500 26th Yankee Division and other soldiers represented throughout the collection.  These photographs are now all available online for the public to view and enjoy.  A large portion of this project also included the careful collection and multiple revisions of metadata that can be found with each digital image for enhanced searching and retrieval in the database.

The collection, also known as Photograph 359, was donated to the library in 1935 by the Boston Globe, which used soldiers’ photographs in the newspaper during the war.  Accompanying many of these photographs are “cut slips” produced by Globe staff members to record factual information for subsequent news articles; the slips include biographical and military information, as well as any notes on service recognition, wounds received, and casualties.  It’s also common to find on the cut slip the date when a story appeared in the Globe, which is helpful when researching a particular soldier.

Soldiers can be searched by their name, by military unit, and even by their hometown (when provided).  Users can also browse by soldiers’ last names.  The Division’s units most represented in the collection are the 101st, 102nd, and 104th infantries; the 101st and 102nd field artilleries; and the 101st and 301st United States engineers.

Here is a link to the library’s WWI Fickr set, which is a small example of what the collection contains: 

[Back of photo] "Left to right: Trainor of San Antonio, Leo Peterson of Minneapolis,
Murphy of Boston, Carlson of Boston; [Murphy and Carlson labeled] The Wild Beans." 
For further research, here are some helpful resources in the library’s collection:

Search the State Library’s online catalog for more publications.

Kaitlin Connolly
Reference Librarian