Military History Institute

The website of the Military History Institute at Carlisle PA (official name: U.S. Army Heritage & Education Center)

is a gold mine of useful information, both bibliographic and full text, for an area in which Columbia traditionally hasn’t been strong.   There are two basic catalogs listed on this link, the Research Catalog, which is basically their card catalog, and the Resource Guides Finding Aids, which is a treasure trove, though it can be hard to navigate.

This is their gateway.

Resource Guides/Finding Aids

Groups of  subject bibliographies are listed in folders, alphabetically by subject, so that for instance, the Women folder has bibliographies on various topics as esoteric as “Woman Disguised as Male Soldiers”, (mainly American ones, but there are references to world history) or a three-page bibliography on “Laundresses”, with the irresistible reference

Wettemann, Robert P., Jr. “The Girl I Left Behind Me?  United States Army Laundresses and the Mexican War.”  Army History (Fall 1998/Winter 1999):  pp. 1-10. 

To print these, click on the upper right icon for “Show document”.

Not everything is as specialized; there is a useful and focused bibliography on “Battle Art”, under the “Art” folder, which can be helpful for the inevitable UWP topic of war and art.  (There is also a short bibliography on “aircraft nose art”, which sounds like a paper waiting to happen.)

These bibliographies are useful for less stridently military questions as well; there is one on civil-military relations, which was useful to a student writing about the influence of the DOD, as opposed to the Department of State, in post-WWII foreign policy, and references to fraternization were helpful answering a question on women in post WWII Germany.  Nor are these all focused on the US–there are some bibliographies on classical and European warfare.

Individual bibliographies (presumably ones which didn’t fit under the subjects) are listed beneath the folders, including the intriguing “Lessons Learned” and “Ghosts”.  There is also another UWP perenial, “Films”,  with some useful references to works on war films.

One recent problem (they have just rejiggered the site) is that sometimes you get caught up in a loop, and either a blank screen comes up, or the last search.   I have found that using the “sign out” link on the left hand side (if it is displaying) helps, but if not, starting over again works.

The bibliographies are probably the most useful item, but the digitized documents and photographs are also fun to look through; the photographs, especially are quite rich and varied from the 1912 German Olympics olympicsto an Indian Chief.