New WWI Digital History Site Launches

On June 26th, cultural institutions around the Delaware Valley region celebrated the launch of Home Before the Leaves Fall, a new digital history site highlighting little-known World War I resources and archival materials. Held at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, the launch event featured a physical and digital display of items from participating institutions, including the Chemical Heritage Foundation, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, the Library Company of PhiladelphiaSwarthmore College, and Villanova University, as well as HSP itself. The event also included a lecture by Peter Williams, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia and author of Philadelphia: The World War I Years. 

WWI items on display at launch event
WWI items on display at launch event
WWI items on display at launch event
WWI items on display at launch event

Hosted by Villanova University, Home Before the Leaves Fall is a collaborative digital history project featuring curated, thematic articles and newly digitized primary sources from libraries and archives around the Delaware Valley Region. Initial topics include WWI poetry, naval and chemical warfare, conscientious objectors, and women peace activists, with numerous articles and topics to be added over the next four years. Home Before the Leaves Fall will also serve as the host site for various digital humanities projects, including a comprehensive database of soldiers from Philadelphia who died in the war compiled by Ruth S. Martin, Ph.D.

For news and highlights from the project, check us out on Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. Interested in contributing content to the project? Contact Michael Foight (Special Collections and Digital Library Coordinator, Villanova University) at

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