We are pleased to announce that our collection of World War I maps is now available online. The following overview comes from Military Collection Archivist Kenny Simpson.
The World War I map collection contains more than five hundred maps and blueprints of various types. These oversized documents were removed from the several records series of the World War I Papers within the Military Collection. Most of these series are closed, having been received by the North Carolina Historical Commission during and immediately after the war, but one, the private collections, is still being augmented and so will continue to supply maps to this collection. The bulk of the World War I maps are topographical studies of France and Belgium, either field or ordnance surveys. Other types represented include barrage maps; drawings to accompany engineers’ operational reports; sketches of railroads, roads, and bridges; depictions of trench lines, troop dispositions, and positions of balloons; aerial photographs; Corps situation maps, updated daily; and blueprints of bombproof shelters. Of particular interest are the various maps with contemporaneous annotations by the officers who used them, such as the engineering drawings from the papers of Joseph Hyde Pratt and the topographical maps carried high above the trenches in the balloon of James A. Higgs. The collection was scanned and catalogued by interns Heather Szafran (2012) and Samantha Rich (2013).
Be sure to look at our World War I Collection online for more materials including posters, photographs, and letters.