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How did women serving in World War I frame their encounters with mortality? While the sacrificial mother and the homefront sweetheart are familiar figures from the Great War, tens of thousands of American women who served overseas are left out of gendered depictions of sacrifice and loss. Although these valiant women willingly faced the dangers war brought, how they understood these experiences after the fact is less clear. An underutilized source, their wartime scrapbooks, provides insight into their responses. This article, the results of an honors undergraduate student project at Rosemont College, focuses on visual narratives of wartime nurses, two with Pennsylvania connections and one from New York, as examples of women’s efforts to record histories of a war from which they are too often excluded.
Pennsylvania History is the official journal of the Pennsylvania Historical Association, and copyright remains with PHA as the publisher of this journal.