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Guide to the World War I Soldiers File
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Access Points
  • Contents
  • History
  • Container List
  • Material Transferred from the Collection

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: World War I Soldiers File
    Box Number: 2038-2055
    Collector: California Historical Survey Commission
    Extent: 18 boxes
    Repository: California State Library
    Sacramento, California
    Language: English.

    Administrative Information



    Conditions of Use

    Please credit California State Library.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to California State Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing. Permission for publication is given on behalf of California State Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], World War I Soldiers File, California State Library.

    Access Points

    World War, 1914-1918--California--Sources
    World War, 1914-1918--Women--California
    World War, 1914-1918--Registers of dead--California
    World War, 1914-1918--California--Medals
    United States--Armed Forces--California--Sources
    Registers of births, etc.--California
    Military decorations--California
    Women in war--California


    Newspaper clippings.


    In 1918, the California State Council of Defense (first created in 1916) formed the War History Committee for the purpose of assembling the records of the war and preserving all material of historical value relating to California's part in that War. The actual direction of the work of the Committee was given to the Historical Survey Commission (created in 1915) under the immediate supervision of Dr. Owen C. Coy. Under this director, a county war history committee was to be created in each of the 58 counties. Each committee was expected to prepare reports dealing with local war activities and to gather and compile statistical information on those activities. They were to collect newspaper clippings, war programs, war addresses, photographs, manuscripts, documents, posters, and other fleeting war history material.
    Beginning in 1918, the Committee forwarded requests and a preprinted form (California Honor Roll) to the various counties to gather biographical information on soldiers. The soldiers' record cards were 3x5" cards separated into Casualty men and Non-casualty men. A Casualty card would contain the soldier's name, date & page where listed in Official U.S. Bulletin, name of relative, a code indicating type of death. A Non-casualty card would begin with a code in upper left corner signifying type of card, soldier's name, location of his biographical file, indication of a biographical card (California Honor Roll) and/or photograph. These cards, in addition to photographs and newspaper clippings from local papers were sent by the counties to the Committee.

    Container List

    The list is arranged alphabetically by county, then by name

    Material Transferred from the Collection

    Original Photographs

    • Portraits of World War I soldiers transferred to California Section's Photograph File, World War I Soldiers (indexed in Information File).
    • California Honor Roll: Pre-printed forms transferred to California Section's special card files. Housed at the Reference Desk (indexed in Information File).
    • Card File: File of 3x5 cards, missing and presumed destroyed when collection was filmed.