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American Field Service World War I Photographic Collection

Overview

Abstract

Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Photographs and Negatives

Glass-Plate Negatives

Lantern Slides

Albums



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American Field Service World War I Photographic Collection, 1910-1987 | Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs

By Cherie Acierno and Nicole Milano

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Collection Overview

Title: American Field Service World War I Photographic Collection, 1910-1987Add to your cart.View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates:1915-1917

ID: RG1/002

Creator: American Field Service

Extent: 6.0 Cubic Feet. More info below.

Arrangement:

The collection has been arranged at the box level, and has been partially processed into the following four series: Photographs and Negatives, Glass-plate Negatives, Lantern Slides, and Albums.

See the individual series descriptions for more information.

Languages: English, French

Abstract

The American Field Service (AFS) was a volunteer ambulance and camion corps serving with the French Army during World War I.  AFS ceased to exist as an independent entity and was absorbed by the United States military when the United States entered the war in 1917.  The American Field Service World War I Photographic Collection consists of photographs and negatives, glass-plate negatives, lantern slides, and albums depicting the activities of the American Field Service, and to a lesser degree of the French and United States militaries, during World War I.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The American Field Service World War I Photographic Collection consists of photographs and negatives, glass-plate negatives, lantern slides, and albums depicting activities of the American Field Service (AFS), and to a lesser degree of the French and United States militaries, during World War I. Some of the photographic material appears to have been used by the organization in press releases and publications to increase awareness of the cause and to recruit volunteers, and also in fundraising efforts to encourage donation of ambulances.    Examples of public relations use include a published book entitled Friends of France (Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin, 1916), and postcards of headquarters (as seen in Series 1, Subseries 1A.) Some photographs were also used in post-war AFS commemorative publications, such as the three-volume The History of the American Field Service in France (Boston and New York, Houghton Mifflin, 1920).  The photographic material was created by professional photographers or individual AFS ambulance and camion drivers, and donated to AFS headquarters either during or after the war.  It is not always possible to determine what was donated versus what was commissioned or created by AFS during the war.

The photographic records of the American Field Service’s ambulance and camion service in World War I are useful in the study of American involvement prior to the United States’ Declaration of War in 1917.  The collection depicts the voluntary activities of AFS (including assisting injured soldiers and transporting supplies), local landscapes and civilians (including images of Paris), major events and battles in the war (including Verdun), and groups and individuals involved in the war (including ambulance and camion drivers, and members of the French military.)  While the majority of the photographic material depicts AFS activities from 1915 to 1917, there are also some images of the pre-AFS American Ambulance Hospital and of the post-AFS U.S. Army Ambulance Service, which absorbed AFS after the United States entered the war in 1917.  Other later materials include an album featuring American Expeditionary Forces World War I photographs (ca. 1917-1919), with a particularly large number of photographs of heavy artillery and of the ordinance repair shops and salvage depots in Mehun-sur-Yevre.  There are also color photographs of a restored AFS World War I ambulance, which were taken in 1987 by the Fondation de l’Automobile Marius Berliet.

See the individual series descriptions for more information.

Administrative Information

Alternate Extent Statement: 25 boxes

Access Restrictions: This collection is open for research.  Cotton gloves are required for the handling of all photographic material. The lantern slides and glass-plate negatives are very fragile, and some have become cracked or broken over time.  These are specifically labeled “fragile” and should be handled with extreme care.   Permission to view the glass-plate negatives or lantern slides must be obtained from the AFS Archives in advance.

Use Restrictions: Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Archives. In the event that this research becomes a source for publication, a credit line indicating the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs is required. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions.

Acquisition Method: This collection was compiled by the American Field Service staff during and after World War I, and was transferred to the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs at an unknown date.

Appraisal Information: Personal collections of photographs, donated by individual drivers and/or their heirs after the war, have been removed from the American Field Service World War I Photographic Collection and separated into individual collections whenever specific donors or drivers have been identified.

Related Materials: There are many individual photographic collections in the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs, donated to the archives by individual World War I ambulance or camion drivers and/or their heirs.  Major collections with photographic material include (but are not limited to) the following: Joseph G. Weld Collection (RG1/032); John C. Hanna Collection (RG1/031); John C.B. Moore Collection (RG1/019); Mark V. Brennan Collection (RG1/006); Frank Fiedler Collection (RG1/014); Jansen K. Hoornbeck Collection (RG1/018); Harry R. Perley Collection (RG1/029); Paul A. Rie Collection (RG1/023); Walker Family Collection (RG1/028); Berkeley Michael Collection (RG1/033); Frank H. Boyd Collection (RG1/036); Lawrence B. Cummings Collection (RG1/034); Robert Bridgers Collection (RG1/037); George Van Santvoord Collection (RG1/035); Edward Samuel Collection (RG1/043); Donald W. Searles Collection (RG1/044); John F.W. Huffer Collection (RG1/045); William A. Lowrie Collection (RG1/046); Reuben W. Lovering Collection (RG1/047); Whitney B. Wright Collection (RG1/048); Powel Fenton Collection (RG1/013.)  For photographic material related to the involvement of AFS in World War II, see the American Field Service World War II Photographic Collection (RG2/002.)

Preferred Citation: [Identification of item], [Date]; American Field Service World War I Photographic Collection; Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs, New York, NY.

Processing Information:

This collection was partially arranged by AFS Archives staff at an unknown date and again by Cherie Acierno and Nicole Milano in 2011.  An inventory for all but two of the photographic albums was created by William Foley at an unknown date, and updated in greater detail by Eleanora Golobic from 1988-1990 under a grant from the Florence J. Gould Foundation.  An inventory of 400 of the loose photographic prints was created by Nancy Cricco in July 1988, and updated by Eleanora Golobic in September 1988, although more than half of these prints were removed to the Powel Fenton Collection (RG1/013) in June 2011.

Preliminary finding aid written by Cherie Acierno and Nicole Milano in June 2011 and encoded in EAD by Cherie Acierno in June 2011.  This finding aid was created under the scope of the 2010-2011 National Historical Publications and Records Commission Basic Processing grant.


Box and Folder Listing


Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Photographs and Negatives, 1910-1987 (bulk 1915-1917)],
[Series 2: Glass-Plate Negatives, ca. 1915-1917],
[Series 3: Lantern Slides, ca. 1915-1917],
[Series 4: Albums, ca. 1915-1919],
[All]

Series 3: Lantern Slides, ca. 1915-1917Add to your cart.

0.13 cubic feet (stored in 3 boxes)

This series contains seventy-four lantern slides, all 3.25”x4,” many of which have become cloudy over time. Some of the slides were created from glass-plate negatives in Series 2.  The slides include images of American Field Service drivers and ambulances, cemeteries, ambulance wrecks, and landmarks (including Notre Dame in Paris.)

The slides have been housed in acid-free four-flap enclosures, arranged by their original slide box.  The original lantern slide boxes are housed in a separate box, and no longer contain the negatives.

Box 19Add to your cart.
Box 20Add to your cart.
Box 21Add to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series 1: Photographs and Negatives, 1910-1987 (bulk 1915-1917)],
[Series 2: Glass-Plate Negatives, ca. 1915-1917],
[Series 3: Lantern Slides, ca. 1915-1917],
[Series 4: Albums, ca. 1915-1919],
[All]


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