The Institute on World War II and the Human Experience at Florida State University is proud to present the viritual exhibition, Women at War: At Home and in Service. Initially scheduled to open at Chipola College Center for the Arts in April 2020, this exhibition was moved to a virtual platform in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlighting the wartime experiences of twelve American women of diverse and varied backgrounds, this exhibit seeks to share the important contributions of women during the Second World War, from the home front to the front lines. Women’s military service, as well as their roles on the home front, are showcased through selected digitized materials from the archival collections housed at the Institute on World War II. Utilizing photographs, correspondence, military documents, and oral histories, this online exhibit provides an opportunity to explore the experiences of American women during an extraordinary time in history.
Featured collections include that of Gertrude Margaritte Ivory Bertram, an African American nurse from Georgia. Bertram attended nursing school at Brewster Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, before joining the Army Nurse Corps following her graduation in 1941. As an army nurse, Bertram was stationed at Fort Bragg, North Carolina before receiving orders to deploy to Liberia in early 1943. Another woman featured is Editha Anderson Shaw, who graduated high school in 1944 and joined the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps shortly after, receiving funding for her nursing degree as a Cadet Nurse. Shaw’s profile in the exhibit, as well as others, includes digitized excerpts from an oral history, allowing viewers to listen to her stories of service in her own words.
Emma Davis, a history major and Presidential Scholar at Florida State University led a team of undergraduates to curate this exhibit under the direction of G. Kurt Piehler, Institute Director. Ms. Davis and Professor Piehler co-authored the introductory essay for the exhibit, and Professor Sarah Myers of Messiah College served as consultant. Women at War was made possible by the generosity of donors of the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience.
Women at War: At Home and In Service can be viewed online at ww2.fsu.edu/collections/women-war-home-and-service-world-war-ii.
For further informaiton about the exhibition and the Institute on World War II, please contact Professor G. Kurt Piehler at email@example.com
Professor G. Kurt Piehler
Institute on World War II and the Human Experience
Department of History
Florida State University