About Our Collections
Our goal is to collect, preserve, and catalog historical and personal items donated by servicewomen and their families to the Women’s Memorial Foundation Collection.
The Foundation formally established the Collection in July 1994, although servicewomen and their families have been donating memorabilia since the late 1980s. The Collection now houses more than 4,000 donations including photographs, documents, textiles, artifacts, and audiovisuals representing all eras and all branches of American women’s military history. All donations are carefully stored in climate-controlled storage rooms, in accordance with the highest archival preservation guidelines and made possible in part by a Save America’s Treasures grant. Our Collection continues to grow and thrive as today’s servicewomen participate in new events and fill new roles.
The Collection is sub-divided into six separate collections:
- Photographs: images from the American Revolution to the present, with particular strength from the Spanish-American War through the 1950s; original images from the private collections of individual servicewomen, official military photographs, and photographs from other museum and archival sources.
- Documents: scrapbooks, diaries, letters and personal journals; service documents such as orders, commendations, promotions, discharge and enlistment papers, and training certificates; recruiting and public relations pamphlets and posters, cruise books, academic and training yearbooks; songbooks, holiday menus and recreational programs; and military and civilian newspapers, journals and magazines.
- Artifacts: military-issue personal items such as first aid kits and grooming supplies; items reflecting popular culture such as paper dolls, Barbies® and buttons; personal collectibles from service in the United States and overseas; and medals, insignia and patches.
- Textiles: uniforms of all services from World War I to the present including service dress, formal, fatigue and exercise clothing.
- Audiovisuals: recordings of women's military bands, recruiting films and videos about military women.
- Institutional Collection: Foundation newsletters and publications, memory book pages, blueprints, and National Design Competition entries.
The Collection is used to create exhibits in the Women’s Memorial, located at the gateway to Arlington National Cemetery. It is also an important resource for the Foundation’s special projects such as calendars, books, brochures, presentations, educational materials and Web-based projects. Researchers, students and outside organizations may also use the Collection for similar purposes. To learn more, visit our Collection Highlight from time to time to see a special collection or object, browse the Collection Archive to read past highlights and topical essays, or download an inventory of some of our holdings.
For information about reproductions, to request photos or loans, or to conduct research, please contact Britta Granrud, Curator of Collections, at 703-533-1155 or 800-222-2294, or by e-mail at email@example.com. Access to our Collection is by appointment only. The Foundation is open weekdays from 9 AM to 5 PM.