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World War I Resources

Databases and resources on World War I



This guide provides a list of links to primary and secondary sources that contain information on World War I, the events that led up to it and the events that followed it. It is by no means complete. Contact me for further assistance.

See also, this guide:


IU affiliates have access to a huge number of newspapers and other periodicals. It can be difficult to find what you are looking for, but if you are having trouble, contact me.

The list below has four geographic categories: Africa, America (North and South), Europe (except UK), and UK.

For a more comprehensive guide on historical newspapers and periodicals, see:


American (North and South):

European (except UK):


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Freely Available:

The Herman B Wells Library is home to the largest map collection in the state of Indiana. The collection contains maps from most countries in the world, with a focus on the state of Indiana. Currently, about 40% of the map collection remains uncataloged, and can only be discovered by physically browsing the map drawers. However, the majority of the maps are searchable in IUCAT.

The following categories of maps represent a small selection of the collection, but highlight the types of things you might discover.

Military Maps

The Wells Library map collection contains a wide selection of military maps from around the world. These were created by various governments and armies for planning or tactical purposes, and sometimes used in battle. One of the larger collections of this type is the Russian Military Topographic Map collection. These are maps of Eastern Europe and that were created by the Soviet military in the years before WWII. Many were captured in the field by German, US, and British troops, and the maps eventually made their way to Indiana University. You can read more about these maps in National Geographic and Wired.

We also hold many military maps created by the US military, including "Newsmaps" from WWII. These fascinating maps were sent to overseas and domestic military operations to keep people informed of the progress of the war. They present updates on troop movements, enemy atrocities, and tips for returning to civilian life in an informal (and sometimes racist) tone. The University of North Texas has digitized this collection, and we hold them in print at the Herman B Wells Library. We also have similar maps produced by the British military.

Tourist Maps

Tourist maps often include advertisements for local businesses, highlight areas of interest or historical importance, and are generally more casual in tone than official government maps. The primary purpose is to offer an overview of a city or country and to direct tourists to areas of interest. They sometimes include illustrations to this end. Tourist maps offer insight into what is/was perceived to be of interest or of value to visitors, and help construct a sense of place. We have a strong collection of tourist maps from the 1950's to present for most countries in the world.

For example, this 1970 map of Panama, titled "Panama, City of Contrasts" 

Other Maps

The map collection at the Wells Library is vast and holds many surprises. With about 40% of the collection still uncataloged, there are sure to be some hidden gems. Some other categories of maps that you might investigate are government publications, such as maps from the CIAState Department, or foreign governmentsinfrastructure maps, or other maps made by city governments

Visit Map Collections at the Library for more information.