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First Global Conflict: Contemporary Views of the Great War, 1914-1919. An Exhibition.

Date Aug 29, 2014 - Dec 19, 2014
Time All Day
Location 346 Library
Cost free admission
Sponsor The Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Contact Dennis Sears
Phone 217 333 3777
Event type exhibition
Views 210

Fall Exhibition to Commemorate WW1:


First Global Conflict: Contemporary Views of the Great War, 1914-1919.

29 August—19 December 2014

A century has passed since the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the premiership of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This murder in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 set in motion the first great conflict of the twentieth century and the first conflagration to involve a world-wide system of empires, treaties, protectorates, and dependencies. Casualties would number in the tens of millions, and tens of millions more would be displaced or suffer political persecution. Europe’s borders, as well as those far from Sarajevo in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia would be re-drawn. A revolution in Russia and fascist movements would set the stage for further global conflicts.

One hundred years later, the actors and witnesses to the original conflict are gone but records of their experiences and views of the war endure on paper and film. This exhibition explores the multiple ways this “Great War” can be revisited and re-interpreted in the collections of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Too large to be represented comprehensively, the conflict’s personal impact is nonetheless found in these letters, documents, photographs, posters, pamphlets, and books on display. Collectively, we hope their testimony conveys a sense of immediacy and eyewitness.

This exhibition is part of a campus-wide initiative, “The Great War: Experiences, Representations, Effects”. Twenty-four additional photographs and works from the Rare Book & Manuscript Library will also be on display at the Krannert Museum of Art as part of the exhibition, “La Grande Guerre: French Posters and Photographs from World War I,” 28 August through 23 December 2014.

The No. 44 Society will host a talk and tour of the exhibition at its September 10 meeting from 3 to 5 p.m. in The Rare Book & Manuscript Library. All are welcome!

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