World War 1, a French Perspective

One hundred years ago, the Great War, later referred to as World War 1 was in its last critical months, ending on November 11th, 1918. Millions of soldiers and civilians had been killed or maimed, and tens of thousands more suffered from shell shock and side effects of exposure to mustard gas. Attendant to the cruelties of war were advances in military triage, surgery, prosthetics, plastic surgery and battlefield anesthetics in the allied troops, including those in France.

Ebling Library’s Rare Books & Special Collections recently purchased the extraordinary Science et Devouement le Service de sante, la Croix-Rouge, les oeuvres de solidarite de guerre et d’apres guerre, 1917-1922. [Science and Devotion to the Health Service, the Red Cross, works of Solidarity for war and post-war]. It is an monumental work celebrating the work and sacrifice of the Red Cross and associated medical and nursing services during WWI.

The lavish volume includes prints of narrative paintings, evocative photographs of injuries and surgical repair and commentary on the politics, economics, and social and cultural place of war in France’s medical and military history.The book, purchased through a generosity of the Maurice Richardson Library Fund, helping Ebling to add to its world-class historical collections.

Science et Devouement
, originally available only through subscription (ours is #1636) is currently in a display case in the Historical Reading Room on the 3rd floor of Ebling Library. Just pop into Room 3315, and Micaela Sullivan-Fowler can let you study through this important volume. Also, look for more WWI books this fall as we plan to do a display on WWI and the 1918 Influenza epidemic. Questions? Contact

For those who think in a linear fashion, this timeline may be of interest.