Women at the University of Kansas contributed to the war effort in a variety of ways during World War I. Here’s a look at just some of the ways that KU women found to support the war effort, as illustrated by the collections in University Archives!

For example, the physical education and English departments made their mark on the war effort through several organized projects. Students in various knitting and sewing classes made sheets and bed socks for hospitals and sweaters for the troops. Knitting classes were later disbanded temporarily to allow time and space for female students to make surgical dressings for military hospitals.

In addition, many women on campus also became involved with the Red Cross during the war via courses in home nursing and Red Cross organization and home relief.

Photograph of a surgical dressing class at KU, 1918

A surgical dressing class at KU, Jayhawker yearbook, 1918. University Archives. Call Number: LD 2697 .J3 1918.

This is the first part of a longer entry on Inside Spencer: The KSRL Blog. Be sure to check it out!



Becky Schulte has been the University Archivist at the University of Kansas since 2003. She previously held the position of Head of Reader Services at KU's Spencer Research Library and served as the Assistant Curator of the Kansas Collection, the University's regional history library. In addition to the position of University Archivist she is also Curator of the Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements at Spencer Library and has worked with the collection since 1985. Schulte graduated from KU in 1976 with a degree in Humanities and received an MA in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin--Madison in 1982.