Q: Why are these files here?

A: Since the beginning of World War II, and even before that, document of importance have been written, published and distributed, only to disappear into the "stacks" of libraries and dusty bookshelves in scholars offices and homes.

This is one effort to get those works back into the hands of the people, to remove the barricades which have made it impossible for the average person to see the original text of so many valuable books, documents, and collections.

We hope that you will find these files interesting, enlightening, and informative. Hopefully, the next time you see a footnote having a few words, or a few sentences at best, of some speech, treaty or investigation that you have seen hear you will know the full context of that quote and whether or not the author is accurately relating the facts.

Q: Should I bet "my life, my liberty, and my sacred honor" on the accuracy of these transcriptions?

A: The files here were scanned and edited by volunteers, taking tremendous amounts of their own time to make them available on the Web. These volunteers are humans, and any human can make a mistake. Every effort is made to assure the validity of the transcriptions, but digitizing 3-,4,000 pages of text can produce the same amount of mistakes you'll find in any transcript. If you are in doubt about a fact or figure, please contact us and we'll do our best to verify the information and make any needed corrections. If you can document an error in the original texts we will consider adding a footnote to the files, but under no circumstances will we "edit" a text to "update" it.

Errors should be reported to

Q: Where are all the "bells and whistles?" I thought this was a WEB site!
In the future we might have the time to "pretty up" this site, but at present the mission is to get the information out, leaving the refinements for the future.
Q: Can I add files to this collection?

A: Files will be considered individually, and will have to pass three reviewers before it can be added. We will pick the reviewers (volunteers should contact the address above.) Files must be faithful recreations of the originals. Surveying the files at this site should give you an indication of what is expected, or write us for any clarification needed. Files must be in the public domain, or freely transmittable. Copyrighted works, or works that have restrictions on retransmission (other than that they be unaltered and intact) will not be be accepted.

Q: Where's my country? I don't see any files here for my homeland!

A: The source for these files is people who do them because they are of interest to those people. If you have documents, on your home country, adopted country, or favorite country, and digitize them, we may find space or help you find someone who does have space to make them available to the Web. The story of each country that was involved in the war is important to someone, and some of the most interesting stories are those which have yet to be told beyond their own borders.

Q: Is there a specific start and stop date for these files?

A: "All history is prologue." We can't expand too far from the central events, but documents that have a definite bearing on the start of the war, or its aftermath, will be gladly accepted. Note that the Naval Arms Limitation Treaty of 1922 is included, because it had a bearing on the composition of the opposing fleets and was a cause of political discontent in several countries.

Q: Any specific topics "off limits"?

A: If you consider a topic to be "sensitive", contact us and we'll talk. We also have no need or desire to house material that is readily available on the Web already. The Holocaust, for example, has several good sites already, and rather than duplicating the work done there we will provide pointers to the some of the best locations.

The space for these files is provided by Purdue University, which assumes no responsibility for the content of this site or for the accuracy of any information contained herein.
Created: 8/16/96 Updated: 8/16/96