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World War I German Postcards

C1:186
547 unique postcards

Wattweiler Strassenansicht [Wattweiler street view], Nr. 2563

The Library of Virginia’s Visual Studies Collection has a collection of German postcards depicting non-combat scenes from World War I’s Western Front. Printed by Schaar & Dathe of Trier, the postcards show the effects of war through images of ruins, life in the camps, and the cleanup efforts of soldiers and civilians.

Guiscard, Nr. 2552

One of the biggest German postcard printers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Schaar & Dathe used letterpress, lithograph, and collotype processes. During WWI, the company had 15 presses and employed 150 workers. The majority of the cards have a four-digit number on the back, a unique identification system set up by Schaar & Dathe. Creating postcards during the war was an easy, affordable way to spread the news visually about the areas most affected by combat.

The collection can be viewed in the Special Collections Reading Room.  A selection is available on Historypin

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World War II Poster Collection

C1:184
1939–1945
403 unique posters, 568 total

Bits of careless talk are pieced together by the enemy. Stevan Dohanos. 1943

During World War II, the United States government, through the Office of War Information and the U.S. Treasury, mobilized the best advertising men available to create posters that would speak to the nation. The images portrayed played on deep levels of fear, pride, duty, and patriotism in illustrating subjects such as recruitment and enlistment; fund-raising through liberty loans; communications; and the medical, social, economic, and industrial aspects of the war. Some posters also addressed the civilian war effort. Citizens were told through posters that they needed to work hard and sacrifice at home in order to beat the enemy. To that end, the ad men succeeded. People felt as though their efforts at home were truly helping “the boys” overseas. The Library of Virginia’s World War II Poster Collection consists of 403 unique posters, with 568 total posters in the collection.

As with the World War I Poster Collection, this collection uses the graphic arts to portray a message. In contrast to the WWI posters, which are reminiscent of fine art drawings (most notably by Howard Chandler Christy and James Montgomery Flagg), the design of the WWII posters follows the commercial illustration style of the time, popularized by artists such as John Atherton, Adolph Treidler, and J. Walter Wilkinson and his son, Walter G. Wilkinson. … Read the rest

Rosa Ulanda Brown Wray Family Photograph Collection

C1:179
c. 1940s–1970s
Three photograph albums containing 207 photographs and newspaper clippings, an assortment of 147 loose photographs, 3 school certificates, and an employment service certificate from Bassett Furniture, where Wray worked for 21 years.

C1:179 ROSA ULANDA BROWN WRAY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION

Born and raised in Henry County, Virginia, Rosa Brown Wray (1934–2006) collected hundreds of photographs of her friends and family. The majority of the photos are labeled with the name, age, and hometown of those pictured. Many family surnames—including Hairston, Ross, Williams, Thomas, and Nolen—appear consistently throughout the collection. The majority of the newspaper clippings and other ephemeral items that Wray saved are related to school events in 1952, such as class valedictorians, school track meets, and news about classmates and friends.

C1:179 ROSA ULANDA BROWN WRAY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPH COLLECTION

Of special interest are 83 photographs that capture the daily life (1952–1953) of an African American soldier’s service during the Korean War. Wray’s brother Charles Brown Jr. is the subject of the photos, presumably showing his family in Virginia what life was like in Korea. Rather than action shots, however, these photos show Brown lounging, drinking Coca-Cola, barbering, playing guitar, and relaxing with fellow soldiers. The Korean War was the first in which the military desegregated its units, following President Harry S. Truman’s 1948 executive order requiring the military to end racial discrimination. Brown’s photographs reflect this, indicating a camaraderie between the … Read the rest

WPA Historic Houses Drawings Collection

D1:003
 c. 1932–1937
140 drawings in pen-and-ink, pencil, and watercolors, ranging in size from 25 x 35 cm to 40 x 45 cm 

D1:003 WPA Historic Houses Drawings Collection

The WPA Historic Houses Drawings Collection includes 140 images of houses, courthouses, churches, mill houses, and taverns, representing 39 Virginia counties. In the early- to mid-1930s, the Virginia State Commission on Conservation and Development’s Division of History and Archaeology received funds from the Works Progress Administration’s (WPA) Federal Art Project to commission five artists to create drawings for a publication on historic Virginia shrines. Like other WPA-funded projects, the artists applied for work through local emergency relief offices before being assigned to the Federal Art Project. Several of the artists also contributed to other New Deal projects at the time, including stamp designs for the National Recovery Act and illustrations for the Index of American Design, a nationwide Federal Art Project. 

Under the direction of Hamilton J. Eckenrode, the commission’s Division of History and Archaeology began making a record of historic buildings in Virginia in 1932. Field assistant (and artist) Rex M. Allyn took photographs of buildings while on assignment to the Division’s Historic Highway Marker project. From 1932 to 1937, Allyn and four other artists—Edward A. Darby, Dorothea A. Farrington, E. Neville Harnsberger, and Elsie J. Mistie—each created numerous pen-and-ink and pencil drawings from the photographs. In some cases, the artists were asked to make … Read the rest

Wolf Pitt Copper Mine Photograph Album

C1: 133
1899–1901
1 album, 10 x 7 inches; 43 images 

C1:133 Wolf Pitt Copper Mine Photograph Album

C1:133 Wolf Pitt Copper Mine Photograph Album

This album bears a handwritten inscription by Charles T. Cobb, dated March 1935: “The photographs in this album are of my deceased father and his Wolf Pitt Copper Mines, which he once owned and operated at Virgilina, Virginia, in the early 1900s, during the time we lived in the South. He sold the mine holdings in 1907 to the owners of the Blue Wing Copper Mines Co. for a very large amount.” 

In addition to its photo-documentation of Virginia copper-mining practices of the turn of the century, this album contains rare visual information about Virgilina itself in its “boom days”—a busy little town of mining and moonshining, muddy roads and newly built hotels, houses and storefronts in a rugged landscape stripped of trees. Included are photos of the Jones Distillery, where corn whisky was manufactured (“by U.S. permit,” the handwritten caption assures us), local mining bosses William Battershill and George B. Cobb, and even the Hungarian “Count Carachristy” [sic], an expert in coal distillation. 

Provenance:
Donation, 1997

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