World War I activities collection
Scope and Contents
The World War I activities collection consists of a variety of documents on the war-related activities of the Mechanics Institute during World War I. The collection contains a report on the Mechanics Institute's Student Army Training Corps and a list of students and alumni killed during the war. The collection also includes correspondence from Edward R. Foreman, the historian for the city of Rochester, requesting information on the Mechanics Institute's role during World War I. In addition to the correspondence, there is a draft for several chapters on the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute's part in the war effort.
- Creation: 1919-1922
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is open to researchers.
Historical Information: World War I activities
During World War I, the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute (RAMI) played an active role in the war effort at home. Upon the United States entering the war, RAMI began tailoring its programs to meet the needs of a country at war. A program for training nurses was established and women were invited to study mechanical drawing to fill jobs left vacant by men serving overseas. In response to a coal shortage in the fall of 1917, RAMI began offering classes on fuel conservation. Similarly, the Institute initiated a study on the dehydration of vegetables as a means to battle scurvy amongst soldiers. Looking ahead to the war's end, RAMI also offered classes in occupational therapy and began planning training programs for injured veterans who could not return to their former jobs.
In 1918, the United States War Department established a Student Army Training Corp, designed to train enlisted soldiers in trades and vocations seen as essential to the military's success. RAMI was selected as one of 157 colleges and trade schools to participate in the program and received its first contingent of approximately 250 students on May 7, 1918. Although the original term was for eight weeks, the War Department renewed its contract with RAMI, extending the program another eight months. RAMI was expected to provide instruction and housing for the enlisted soldiers who attended each program term. Students of the program were trained in carpentry, machinery, automobile and ignition, electrical construction, pattern making, wood turning, forging, and electricity. The program was demobilized on December 5, 1918, following the armistice on November 11th of the same year.
Documents related to the activities of the Rochester Athenaeum and Mechanics Institute during World War I. The collection contains a report on the Mechanics Institute's Student Army Training Corp and a list of individuals connected to the Mechanics Institute that were killed during the war. Additionally, the collection contains correspondence between the Mechanics Institute and the Rochester city historian regarding the Institute's role in wartime activities.
Materials are contained within 2 folders. One folder contains a report on the Student Army Training Corp and a list of causalities, while the other contains correspondence and information related to the Rochester city historian's research on the Mechanics Institute's role during World War I.
Finding aid created by Lara Nicosia in November 2010. ArchivesSpace record updated by Julia Novakovic in October 2023.
- Finding Aid to the World War I Activities Collection
- RIT Archives
- Lara Nicosia
- 01 November 2010
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- Language of description note