Collection ID:

Collection context

Summary

Abstract:
The majority of the contents of this collection are letters the Wells Canteener women sent home from abroad. The remainder of the collection contains newspaper articles which describe their work and living conditions, as well as the article entitled The Y Girl in the Leave Area.
Extent:
.25 linear feet and .25 boxes
Language:
English

Background

Scope and Content:

The majority of the contents of this collection are letters the Wells Canteener women sent home from abroad. The remainder of the collection contains newspaper articles which describe their work and living conditions, as well as the article entitled The Y Girl in the Leave Area.

Biographical / Historical:

The Canteeners from Wells College were part of the YMCA program that sent alumnae overseas during World War I, ten to a unit, stationed at various canteens in groups of two. Members were to be college graduates, over the age of 25, all had to fulfill the other qualifications imposed by the YMCA.

The YMCA group conducted canteens and before the armistice was signed, devoted itself to entertaining and cheering men from the fighting front for rest. The women's sole duty (unlike the women who worked for the Red Cross, whose work had to do with aiding the sick and wounded) was to cheer the boys. The YMCA job meant service - in any way possible, but, first and foremost, to keep up morale. They planned entertainment and kept everyone interested and busy. They arranged movies, the entertainment for the camps, exchanged the money for the troops, sent home remittances for the boys, and ran the stores, as well as aiding in religious work.

When the American soldiers had been fighting in the trenches for a certain length of time, they were granted seven days leave. They couldn't go home, so they would send them somewhere as close to home as possible - where there were other American girls to look at, talk to, and dance with. For all the soldiers' amusements, they went to the Y, where they bought food between meals, talked to the Y girls, read books, wrote letters, played games, went sightseeing and danced. Such were the general characteristics of a leave area though each are has its own peculiar and distinctive atmosphere

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: a Content Standard

Access

RESTRICTIONS:

There is no restriction on access to the World War I Wells College Canteener Collection for research use. Particularly fragile items may be restricted for preservation purposes

LOCATION OF THIS COLLECTION:
170 Main St
Aurora, NY 13026, United States
CONTACT: