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NJ WWI Collections

This page will direct you to World War I collections throughout the State of New Jersey. If you are a repository that currently houses any World War I related collections, please email us to see if your collections can be added to this page.

New Jersey State Archives
Rutgers University, Special Collections and University Archives
New Jersey Historic Preservation Office
New Jersey State Museum
Monmouth County Parks, Historical Services Division

New Jersey State Archives

The State Archives has a wide array of materials relating to the World War I period, including gubernatorial, departmental, and local records.  These sources touch upon the military service of New Jerseyans, as well as how the war affected its residents. Two collections of note are the World War I Casualty Cards and Correspondence, which is searchable online, and the Unofficial Service Cards, which are available on microfilm for in-person research and through the mail. Please see the World War I page in the Archives' catalog for a preliminary list of resources.  

The New Jersey State Archives is open to the public Monday-Friday.  The Microfilm Room is open from 8:30 p.m. to 4:15 p.m and the Manuscript Room is open from 1:00 p.m. to 4:15 p.m.  The Archives is located at 225 West State Street, Trenton, NJ and can be reached at 609-292-6260.

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Special Collections and University Archives, Rutgers University Libraries

The Great War and New Jersey: Holdings of Rutgers University Special Collections and University Archives is a comprehensive guide of approximately 567 primary source materials ranging from individual Liberty Loan Posters to manuscript collections, all relating to the conflict overseas and domestically. The guide includes manuscript collections, scrapbooks, periodicals, pamphlets, rare books, political caricatures, museum objects, maps, broadsides, Liberty Loan posters, and over 260 photographs, postcards and printed materials in our pictorial collections. All are available to the research public in Rutgers University Library Special Collections and University Archives’ Reading Room. 

Access to Special Collections and University Archives materials is provided in the New Jersey Room, located on the lower level of the Alexander Library in New Brunswick. Reference services in the New Jersey Reading Room are available weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays during the fall and spring semesters. You can contact the SC/UA reference desk at 848-932-7510. 

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New Jersey Historic Preservation Office

The Historic Preservation Office is the official state repository for information on historic properties within the State of New Jersey. Three types of materials may be useful for research concerning World War I in New Jersey: National Register files, local historic surveys, and cultural resources reports.  Please see our World War I Collection Summary for more detailed information. 

Collections are available Tuesday through Thursday by appointment. Please call 609-292-0061 for further information. The Historic Preservation Office is located at 501 East State Street, 4th floor, Trenton, NJ. 

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New Jersey State Museum

The New Jersey State Museum collects, preserves and interprets objects that document the lives of people who lived in New Jersey from the 17th century to the present. In addition to its 2 million artifacts reflecting the subject areas of Natural History, Archaeology, Fine Art, and Cultural History, the State Museum also maintains various artifacts relating to the First World War. This includes a large collection of Liberty Loan, Red Cross, Food Administration, and recruitment posters that were designed and printed as propaganda to inspire American commitment to the cause of war. Additionally, the museum holds assorted personal items from the World War I era including uniforms, equipment, medals, war souvenirs, and even a bugle that sounded the Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918.

Perhaps most importantly, the museum serves as the official caretaker of the State of New Jersey’s collection of 192 military flags dating from the 1860s through 1940. Although the majority of these flags are from the Civil War era, the State House Flag Collection also contains nearly 50 flags carried oversees by New Jersey soldiers who served with the 29th and 78th Divisions in World War I. Included are rare flags of the 111th Machine Gun Battalion and the First Ambulance Company – two storied World War I units made up of servicemen from the Garden State.

Though not on display to the public, many of the above materials will be exhibited in the museum’s upcoming exhibition – Embattled Emblems: Posters and Flags of the First World War (opening September 2017).

For more information, call 609-826-3935.

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Monmouth County Park System - Historic Services Division

In 2010, the Monmouth County Park System acquired a collection of World War I posters and other ephemera, as part of the Portland Place property. The former property owner, Daniel Sietz, had within his estate various items believed to have belonged to his aunt, Julia Ward.

During World War I, Julia Ward (1900-1962) was a teenager living with her family in Washington D.C. and may have collected these posters and other ephemera. Julia’s father was a retired naval lieutenant. Her family spent time abroad during the earlier years of her life. Both her time abroad and the family’s military connection could have provided her with an interest and access to these materials while in her youth.

The collection includes posters from the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Russia as well as clippings from various books, newspapers, magazines, and postcards. In addition to these items, a set of books containing 125 illustration plates and descriptions, The Century Deluxe Edition of Raemaekers War Cartoons Vol. 1 and 2, is also included.

Additionally, a series of images that appear to be illustration plates removed from an unknown book have been painted with titles and slogans in watercolor at the borders. It appears to be a possible type of school project to create propaganda posters whether by Julia Ward herself, her younger sister Katherine, or her nephew Daniel Sietz the maker is unknown.

For more information, call 732-975-9747.

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