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WWII Archival Collection

Let’s Stop Losing America’s Wars!

The complete story of the American combat experience has yet to be told. Of the thousands of books written about American conflicts, most are “from the top”—from the perspective of the military and civilian leadership, since those are the records that have been preserved.

Sadly, the records for the “people’s histories” of these wars are falling victim to age, mildew, and even the trash. The history of the individual struggles of war—the loneliness, the triumphs, the boredom, the fear—disappear as the veterans who served pass away and their papers and records are destroyed.

But the UT Special Collections Library and the Center for the Study of War and Society are making UT a national center for the military records of the people who actually participated in America’s battles, victories, crises, and other major events. We are collecting letters, diaries, photos, memoirs, and small unit histories, so they can be preserved properly. They will be available for future historians, students, and anyone else who has an interest in learning about the war. To access the finding aids for the current World War II collection, please click HERE and search World War II collection. If you want to listen to veterans interviews from World War II please click HERE and search the oral histories collection.

Since 1984, when the project began, we have received thousands of contributions to this growing collection, and we are always looking for more donations. If you have similar materials and would like to preserve them in our collection, please contact us at (865) 974-0128 or, or write to:

The Center for the Study of War and Society
220 Hoskins Library
Knoxville, TN 37996-4008