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Interesting stories from the documents on Footnote

You may have noticed that on the new Title Information Pages we try to include at least a couple of sample images to give people a better idea of what they’ll find in each title.

You’ll see these images in the left hand column of the page, as in this example for the Lincoln Assassination papers. Sample images are always free.

Often we find these sample images by just poking around the title. I’ve been surprised by how easy it is to find interesting and unexpected things from any title if you just take a few minutes to browse.

Recently, I had a lot of fun looking for sample images for a couple of titles that may have slipped under the radar of most site users:

Gorrell’s History of the American Expeditionary Forces Air Service, 1917-1919 is a report of some of the first uses of aircraft in war. Edgar S. Gorrell was assigned to gather information that would “assist in establishing Army aeronautics on a sound basis for the future,” and this title is the result of his work.

Browsing this title, I found great descriptions of the kinds of things the military was learning about air warfare and some fascinating pictures, including stitched aerial photos that must be among the earliest precursors to Google Earth.Image of a Biplane from Gorrell's History

Historical Files of the American Expeditionary Force, North Russia, 1918-19 includes reports from the US involvement in a multinational task force that was sent to North Russia in 1918 following the signing of a treaty between Russia and Germany. I had no idea the US was involved in Russia at this time, and this title provides intimate details about what was going on.

I found lists of troop activities, reports of soldiers missing or killed, more early learnings about the military use of aircraft and much more.

These documents and those from individual Member’s shoe boxes, tell some of the most interesting stories of history. It’s our hope that as you and Footnote make more of these documents available, their stories we’ll give us not just a clear vision of the past but a better idea of how we got where we are.

If you find something that you think would make a good sample image for one of the titles on the site, please send us a link to the image and tell us why you think it would make a good sample.

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