100 years of history: wartime ephemera from Charleville

A public note, written in German, about buying "protection" (i.e. condoms), the use of which is recommended. Between 1915-18 Collection Reference: Eph.A/38

A public note, written in German, about buying “protection” (i.e. condoms), the use of which is recommended.
Between 1915-18
Collection Reference: Eph.A/38

This is a guest blog post by Nelly Ullmann and Tugce Tuerk. 

We, that’s Nelly and Tugce, are German students from the Media University of Stuttgart who have been doing an internship for 6 months at the University of Glasgow Library. During our placement, we’ve been visiting different departments and our last step was to gain experience in Special Collections. This is already our last week, how time flies!

We worked for one week on a project looking at “Ephemera” (broadsheets, public notices and posters) from the German occupied town of Charleville in France during the First World War. The University Library holds over 100 of these ephemeral items in Special Collections (you heard right, OVER 100!!)

They are written in French and German, and we took a closer look at them to see what they were about. Of course we could only study the German ones (our French isn’t the best). They are from the First World War and it’s such a weird feeling to hold history in your hands. All of them had different topics like a cattle plague, currencies, food, songs, prayers and even intimate protection! You can take a closer look at some of them on Flickr.

One really interesting thing was an instruction about “city money”. This “city money” should’ve been used by German soldiers to pay in French stores and shops, because back in that time they weren’t allowed to pay with the German Mark to prevent the enemy from having German currency. We even saw these slips of “city money” and it seemed like they’ve created their own currency.

The war songs also left a deep impression on us. When we think about songs, usually happy ones come to our mind. But this song was so sad that we got goose bumps.

German war songs, written from Rudolf Herzog in German, dedicated to the Soldiers at the frontline. " An explosion! Two - three times! Wild laughing of the lads high above the noise! And everyting in silence again..." (Jungdeutsche Pioniere.) 1915 Collection Reference: Eph.A69 69.1

German war songs, written from Rudolf Herzog in German, dedicated to the Soldiers at the frontline. ” An explosion! Two – three times! Wild laughing of the lads high above the noise! And everyting in silence again…” (Jungdeutsche Pioniere.)
1915
Collection Reference: Eph.A69 69.1

Ultimately we are happy to say that we had a great week in Special Collections and even learned some new words, in English and in German.
A big thank you goes out to the whole Special Collections Team!

Auf Wiedersehen & Au Revoir!
Nelly & Tugce



Categories: Archives and Special Collections, Library

Tags: , , , ,

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