[Videolib] FW: Serial Set volume inspires PBS documentary

Chris McNevins (Chris.McNevins@uconn.edu)
Thu, 6 May 2004 12:36:50 -0400

FYI...this may be of interest to some. It was forwarded to me by a
colleague--original message appears below....

-----Original Message-----
From: Graham, John [mailto:John.Graham@cincinnatilibrary.org]
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 11:00 AM
Subject: Serial Set volume inspires PBS documentary

A 1930 volume of the U.S. Serial Set inspired a current documentary
now showing on PBS. The documentary is Gold Star Mothers: Pilgrimage of
Remembrance. It was produced by WILL-TV at the University of Illinois at
Urbana-Champaign. The documentary tells the story of World War I Gold Star
Mothers, women who lost sons in World War I, and the U.S.
Government-sponsored trips that took them to Europe to visit their sons'
graves in the early 1930s. The story is both compelling and timely.
The documentary is currently airing on PBS stations nationwide. The
producer's website offers more information on the film, along with listings
of air-times across the country. Check local listings, as they say.
The entire project started by serendipity. I ran across Serial Set
volume 9225 in the stacks here at the Public Library of Cincinnati &
Hamilton County. The title is Pilgrimage for the Mothers and Widows of
Soldiers, Sailors and Marines of the American Forces Now Interred in the
Cemeteries of Europe. Released as House Document 71-140, the book is a list
of mothers and widows who lost soldiers in World War I, their home
addresses, the name of their deceased son or husband, the name of cemetery
in which the soldier is buried in France, and a Yes/No box if she desired a
pilgrimage. I had never heard of this topic before, so I did some additonal
research. At my library, I found not only Congressional hearings on these
trips but also War Department regulations for the pilgrimages, as these
voyages were called. (Through dumb luck, I had a contact at WILL-TV. The
producers there were very receptive and professional, and basically took the
ball and ran with it.)
Government information figures prominently in the film. Although
the Serial Set isn't mentioned, voiceovers quote from the pilgrimage
hearings. We also used many photographs and other records from the National

John W. Graham, Department Manager
Public Documents & Patents Department
Public Library of Cincinnati & Hamilton County
800 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45202
(513) 665-3358; Fax (513) 369-3123
e-mail: john.graham@cincinnatilibrary.org
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