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Correspondance adressee a Berthe Schuster, marraine de guerre [Correspondence addressed to Berthe Schuster, war godmother]

 Collection — Box: 1 [31151030118974]
Identifier: MS-0736
Starting in the spring of 1915, during World War I, some women in unoccupied France volunteered for the role of "war godmothers," marraines de guerre. To provide the moral support these men, so-called "war orphans," could not receive from their families, women in unoccupied areas became their pen pals. Berthe Schuster was one of these war godmothers and lived during the war on 51 Malakoff Avenue in Paris. This collection includes 124 pieces of correspondence, including illustrated letters, cards, and postcards, contained in an accordion folder decorated with the image of a French soldier writing a letter underneath the French flag. The correspondence was addressed to Schuster.

Dates

  • 1912 - 1919

Physical Description

Due to the brittle nature of the letters and their decorations, the letters have been left in the plastic sleeves provided by the vendors.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection is open for use.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

Extent

0.32 Cubic Feet (1 cardfile box (12.5 x 8.5 x 5.25 inches))

Biographical / Historical

World War I (WWI or WW1), also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war centered in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918. More than 9 million combatants and 7 million civilians died as a result of the war, a casualty rate exacerbated by the belligerents' technological and industrial sophistication, and tactical stalemate. It was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, paving the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved.

Starting in the spring of 1915, some women in unoccupied France volunteered for the role of "war godmothers," marraines de guerre. A stunted government infrastracture and an insufficient mailing system meant that thousands of French soldiers could have no contact with home. To provide the moral support these men, so-called "war orphans," could not receive from their families, women in unoccupied areas became pen pals and a welcoming presence away from the battle front when the soldiers received leave. Berthe Schuster was one of these war godmothers, and lived during the war on 51 Malakoff Avenue in Paris.

Scope and Contents

This collection includes 124 pieces of correspondence, including illustrated letters, cards, and postcards, contained in an accordion folder decorated with the image of a French soldier writing a letter underneath the French flag. The correspondence was addressed to Schuster.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was purchased from the bookseller Bonnefoi Livres Anciens in 2015.

Sponsor note

This collection was acquired with support from the Endowed Fund for Military Science and History of World War II, in memory of Colonel C. William White.

Physical Description

Due to the brittle nature of the letters and their decorations, the letters have been left in the plastic sleeves provided by the vendors.

Processing Information

This collection was processed in November 2015 by Annie Tang.

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

Contact:
The Sheridan Libraries
Special Collections
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA