Commemorating the First World War Centennial in Kansas

The Lindsborg Project

As you can see from the previous post, the project, “Lindsborg During World War I:  Service, Sacrifice, and Dissent,” is wrapping up.  Aside from making an excellent contribution to this website, it is also an excellent contribution to the Lindsborg community.  Tom Jorsch, his students, and all involved deserve the heartiest congratulations!

Those who receive e-blasts from the Kansas Humanities Council should have received one earlier in the week that included acknowledgment of the project:

Student Army Training Corps, Bethany College. Image courtesy of Bethany College.

On the eve of the centennial of the U.S. involvement in World War I, a new project is using technology to tell the story about how Lindsborg — a small town of recent immigrants in 1917 — was affected by the Great War. “Lindsborg During World War I: Service, Sacrifice, and Dissent” is a digital humanities website produced by Bethany College and the McPherson County Old Mill Museum with the support of a KHC Heritage Grant.

200 men from Bethany College served the war effort. Men and women in the community planted war gardens, participated in war drives, and served in the Kansas Home Guard. Other community members expressed opposition for the war. The website features digitized images, texts, and artifacts that document the people and events in Lindsborg during World War I and serves as a resource for historical researchers.

Recent features on the website include an Army Songbook and a 1917 visit to Bethany College from Irish Poet Seumas McManus. You can view the complete “Lindsborg During World War I: Service, Sacrifice, and Dissent” website here.

It is a project that could be copied in other communities, and this also provides a reminder that your organization should try to seek funding from the Humanities Council:

2017 Heritage and Humanities grant guidelines are now available. Drafts are due on January 26, 2017, and final applications are due on February 23, 2017. Visit the KHC Grants page or contact Valerie Mendoza, grants officer, at (785) 357-0359 for more information.

Blair Tarr is the Museum Curator of the Kansas State Historical Society. He oversees the three-dimensional collections of the Society, but has special interests in the Civil War, Wichita-made Valentine diners, and Leavenworth's Abernathy Furniture. In the last few years he has also done a lot of cramming on The Great War. He is a past president of the Kansas Museums Association and the Civil War Round Tables of both Kansas City and Eastern Kansas. He is currently a board member of the Heritage League of Greater Kansas City.

1 Comment

  1. Tom Jorsch

    Thanks, Blair! The students deserve kudos for the tremendous effort they put into this project. And thanks, too, to the Kansas Humanities Council for helping to make the website possible. One aspect the KHC really made possible was the translation of articles from Lindsborg’s Swedish language newspaper. Some translated articles from summer 1914 are already posted on the website, but many more are forthcoming. These are documents that not every scholar could access due to language difficulties, but now can. The project will continue next semester with a new batch of students. Stay tuned for updates.

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