Barnard College was an active participant in the war relief effort during World War I. Barnard was a partner in the Columbia University Mobilization Committee for Women’s Work, which launched a concerted campaign to assist the country in places such as rural areas suffering from the scarcity of male labor, in foreign locations in need of medical care and supplies, and locally with the soldiers coming from and going to war.
The Columbia University Mobilization Committee for Women’s Work became the Committee on Women’s War Work in June 1917. Along with the Barnard College War Relief Association, it spearheaded activities such as the Women’s Agricultural Camp, which provided manual labor to farms in upstate New York that had lost many of their farmhands to the war; nurses, through the American Red Cross, to assist with the repatriation of devastated towns and villages in France; workers, through the YMCA, to set up and work in canteens in France; and undergraduate students and alumnae who set up and worked at a canteen at the Columbia University Boathouse to feed, socialize with, and entertain troops in transit through New York City going home from the war.
Scope & Content Note: World War I materials (1917-1921) consist of reports, inventory lists, resupply lists, receipts, informational bulletins, correspondence, solicitation letters for donations and volunteers, booklets, pamphlets, speeches and notes for speeches, newspaper clippings, financial statements and reports, invoices, meeting minutes, certificates, photographs, and other ephemera. These materials relate to the war relief work done by undergraduate students, alumnae, and faculty at Barnard College.
The materials in the World War I collection are arranged into six series: 1. Columbia University Mobilization Committee for Women’s Work/Committee on Women’s War Work, 2. American Red Cross, France Repatriation Unit, 3. YMCA, France Canteen Unit, 4. Women’s Agricultural Camp/ Farmerettes, 5. Barnard Boathouse Canteen, and 6. Photographs. The abstracts below describe the contents in the related folders for each series. The photographs for the entire collection are located in Series 6, although a description of the photographs related to individual series has been included in the series descriptions.
Barnard College Archives
Lehman Hall, Room 19
New York, NY 10027