Harry Ransom CenterThe University of Texas at Austin

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The World at War

The World at War, 1914–1918 February 11 – August 3, 2014

The exhibition, The World at War, 1914–1918, marks the centenary of the start of World War I. Once thought to be "the war to end war," such naïve optimism was quickly shattered by the experience of civilian and soldier thrust into the shared horror of industrial warfare. The war lasted four long years and killed ten million servicemen.

Wilfred Owen eulogized those killed in battle as "our undying dead." Siegfried Sassoon called them "the nameless names." And Gertrude Stein famously pronounced the casualties as well as the survivors of the war "The Lost Generation," whose world view had been changed forever.

The geo-political causes, the war's global expansion, and the outcomes of the war are well documented. The collective personal and national trauma inflicted on all who experienced the war, however, remains a potent touchstone that speaks to a contemporary world still embroiled in conflict.

Drawing on the Ransom Center's extensive cultural collections, this exhibition illuminates the experience of the war from the point of view of its participants and observers, preserved for a twenty-first-century generation through letters, drafts, and diaries; memoirs and novels; photographs and works produced by battlefield artists; and propaganda posters and films.

Visitors will come away from the exhibition with a greater understanding of the First World War's reach into our own century.

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Gutenberg Bible

The Gutenberg Bible

The Gutenberg Bible is the first substantial book printed from movable type on a printing press. The Ransom Center holds one of five complete copies in the United States.

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First Photograph

First Photograph

The First Photograph was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827. The image depicts the view from an upstairs window at Niépce's estate, Le Gras, in the Burgundy region of France.

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