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Oberlin College and Military Service in World War I
Guide to the Virtual Collection

Suggestions and examples for using the virtual collection’s searching capacity

The use of controlled vocabulary in data fields for certain anticipated categories of photograph subjects allows the user to draw out from the entire collection certain subsets of subjects. The 325 subjects are displayed in alphabetical order, by last name. Searching through this collection is made possible via the “Advanced Search” feature.

Choosing “Advanced Search” from the collection display menu bar links to a page allowing a variety of search queries/combinations. First, click ‘off’ all collections in the “Select available collections” section except the desired one (Oberlin College and Military Service in World War I). Then, click on “Selected fields” (rather than “Across all fields,” unless that is the desired scope). The searchable fields for the metadata in the collection will appear as options on a menu.

For example, if one would like to view the fifteen women in the photograph collection, enter the term women and select the “General Remarks” data field from the menu. Likewise, the photographs of several African-American and Asian subjects have been identified. Enter African-American or Asian as a search term and select the “General Remarks” field to isolate these subsets in a query. Entering France in the “Location of service” field would yield all those who served in some capacity in France.

As another example, if the user wished to identify any subjects who died in 1918, entering 1918 and selecting the “Name” field on the search page would yield this subset, as death dates—if known—are contained in this field. Similarly, one could perform a search based on Oberlin class affiliation and death year by combining two separate search limiters on the Advanced Search page.

Abbreviations used in the data fields of the virtual collection

Cons. Oberlin Conservatory of Music

enr. Enrolled (usually precedes a list of the years a person was enrolled at Oberlin)

ex- This denotes a class affiliation for those individuals - both war era classes and otherwise - who left without completing work for an Oberlin degree (excluding those who were designated H.W.M.). Dates of enrollment are given, if known.

H.W.M. (Honorary War Membership) The Oberlin College Board of Trustees extended an honorary class membership to those individuals serving in the war who had completed the bulk of their studies at the time of their enlisting. Many of these students later completed the work for a degree, at Oberlin or elsewhere. The use of the term in the “Oberlin Class of” field indicates that the individual was granted this honorary affiliation and did no further work toward an Oberlin degree.

S.A.T.C. Student Army Training Corps

Y.M.C.A. Young Men’s Christian Association, generally abbreviated as YMCA, without periods

Additional Notes

  • All class affiliations or degree listings given without an institutional name are Oberlin degrees.
  • The “Personal Papers” field indicates whether or not the individual’s papers are a separate collection held by the Oberlin College Archives. If so, the hyperlink in the field will bring the user to the collection’s finding guide located on the College Archives’ web site.
  • Use of the word “Unknown” indicates that after a search of both the student’s file and other related materials held by the College Archives, the information is unknown. Where appropriate, the field is left blank (as with “Medals”) rather than filled with “Unknown.” Missing death and other dates are indicated by the presence of a question mark.
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