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World War II, 1939-1945

A guide to finding primary sources from World War II.


This guide identifies primary sources related to the Second World War that are available in the Florida State University Libraries. Use the tabs across the top of the page to navigate between subjects.

The bulk of the material listed here deals with the United States & Germany, though Strozier has at least some sources from most other nations which participated in the war. Please feel free to use the contact information on the right side of this page if you have questions about any of these materials, know of something which should be added to the guide, or need help tracking down something which is not listed here.

To figure out how best to navigate this research guide, click on each tab (without selecting from the drop-down menu).  This will open a general page explaining the categories beneath each tab which provides an introduction to major groups of resources.  Please do not hesitate to contact us for additional research assistance.

Special WWII Collections at FSU

The Claude Pepper Library was established in 1985 as the official repository for the Pepper Collection, a unique and multi-faceted collection of manuscripts, photographs, audio/video recordings, and memorabilia by and about U.S. Congressman Claude Pepper (1900-1989).  See the results of a search for "Claude Pepper and World War II" in FSU Special Collections Finding Aids: Claude Pepper and World War II

World War I and II Papers, FSU Special Collections & Archives

This collection consists of two groups of items. There are three army regulations post cards dated "Somewhere in France," which are acknowledgement of thanks from soldiers at the front, and they are addressed to Miss C. Tracey at Erie, Pennsylvania, 1918. The other part of this collection is a newspaper, The Stars and Stripes, extra, dated Tuesday, May 8, 1945, with headlines "Nazis Quit." With the newspaper are two arm bands of the German armed forces, one red and black and one black on yellow.

Institute on World War II and the Human Experience

Housed in FSU's History Dept., the Institute's mission is to collect and preserve the memories of the men and women who participated in all the military branches, service with the Merchant Marine, Red Cross, USO, workers and volunteers on the Home Front during the WWII era and the immediate post-war period (i.e., 1939 - 1949). With over 6,000 collections and growing, the Institute is one of the largest repositories on WWII in the US. In 2001, Tom Brokaw donated countless items sent to him while writing his three books on “The Greatest Generation.”

Additional Resources Outside of FSU

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is another excellent resource for books, periodicals, manuscripts, newspapers, and archival materials in print, microfilm, and digital formats. FSU belongs to this international consortium of university, college, and independent research libraries, which allows FSU patrons to borrow CRL materials via interlibrary loan for extended periods.

One way to identify key collections is through CRL Topic Guides.  See, for example, the Topic Guide for WWII and Aftermath, as well as topic guides on various regions and countries.

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