American Library Association Uniform


Women's American Library Association (ALA) uniform from World War I, consisting of a hat, coat, shirtwaist, necktie, skirt, and insignia. The hat is green velour, the coat and skirt are olive green wool gabardine, the shirtwaist is white crepe de chine, and the tie is greenish brown silk. Metal lapel and hat insignia and cloth sleeve insignia show "ALA" over an open book. This uniform was donated by the ALA through The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America.

The ALA's mission during World War I was to provide American men in the armed forces with reading material during their off-duty and recovery hours on transport ships, in camps, and in hospitals. Men served as librarians for the ALA, while women typically engaged in fundraising, sorting and preparing books, and working at ALA headquarters.


Vivian Lea Young, “'Petticoats Are Part of this Uniform': American Women Volunteers of the First World War and Their Uniforms” (Master's thesis, George Washington University, 1987).

Associated Date: 1917-1918

Location: Currently not on view

Related Event: World War I


See more items in: Political and Military History: Armed Forces History, Military, Military, Clothing & Accessories, Women's World War I Uniforms


Exhibition Location:

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 1998.0165.60.04Accession Number: 1998.0165Catalog Number: 1998.0165.60.04

Object Name: hatOther Terms: hat; Woman; Ala

Physical Description: green (overall color)velvet (overall material)


Record Id: nmah_435755

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