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The First World War

The rich archive, photography and special collections of the Library of Birmingham give us an insight into how the First World War was experienced by the people of Birmingham. Through these collections you can find the stories of local men, women and children, including the experiences of men at the Front, the war’s impact on children and families, the contribution of black and Asian soldiers from across the empire, the changing role of women on the Home Front, Birmingham’s industrial support for the war effort, and debates around patriotism and pacifism in the city.

Ward B1 1914

Casualties of War

Images from the First Southern General Hospital, University of Birmingham.
Silk embroidered postcard

Silk Embroidered Postcards

Greetings sent home from the First World War battlefields.
First World War song card

First World War Song Cards

A gallery of song cards sent during the First World War 1914-1918.
The Gymnasium. Birmingham Hospitals WW1

The War Poetry Collection

This collection was presented to the library in 1921, it has now grown to be one of the largest of its kind in the world.
Books about the First World War

The Great War in Fiction

A booklist to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World War.
My Dear, I wanted to tell you and The Heroes' Welcome by Louisa Young, The Southern Cross

My Dear I Wanted to Tell You

First World War fiction, including pioneering work in treating the war wounded - important in Birmingham's past and present.
Postcards and Spuds!

Allotments in Wartime

Have a look at the entertaining 'Potato postcards' from World War 1 in our 'Digging Around' gallery.
First World War recruits

World War One Resources

Find out more about resources for World War One in the Library of Birmingham.