Collections

A World-Class Collection in the Heart of America

In 1920, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, then known as the Liberty Memorial Museum, began collecting objects and documents from all nations involved in the First World War.

Nearly 100 years later, the Museum, along with the Edward Jones Research Center, is home to one of the largest Great War collections in the world – more than 75,000 items strong.

While it is the official World War I museum of the United States, the Museum uses its collection to tell more than just the American story. Exhibitions take a comprehensive look at the entire war, from the first shots fired in 1914 to the last attempts at peace in 1919.

All belligerent nations involved are represented, not only with stories from the battlefield but from the home front as well.  Items in the collection range from simple objects a soldier carried in the field to rare treasures of national significance.

To ensure the stories of the First World War are not lost for future generations, the Museum continues to seek additions to its collection. Learn how you can donate an object and help the Museum fulfill its mission.

“The most striking thing [about visiting the Museum]was to see the way in which the Museum is free of a national narrative; it really tries to tackle the subject comparatively, which, on the whole, most national museums fail to do.” 

- Hew Strachan, Chichele Professor of the History of War at Oxford University, Director of the Oxford Programme on the Changing Character of War, and a Fellow of All Souls College