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Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
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World War II GI's photograph album, 1944
World War II GI's photograph album, 1944

In 1979 the Smithsonian acquired this album, an American soldier's souvenir of his time in Europe during World War II. Since the Civil War, Americans' experience of war has been captured, brought home, and remembered through photographs. The Smithsonian has many war photographs in its collections, mostly the work of professional media or government photographers. Yet the museum has also collected amateur photographs taken by the soldiers themselves. These personal snapshots, pasted into scrapbooks or packed away with other battle souvenirs, reveal aspects of war not seen in official images.

See also: Military History, Photography, World War II

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