Writer's Guide to Government Information

Resources to inject real life detail into your fiction

Historic Government Publications from World War II

Historic Government Publications from World War II – http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/all/cul/hgp/

Representative questions that can be answered with this resource:

  • What is considered proper conduct in a Muslim home?
  • How did people stretch meat in a time of rationing?
  • What were the duties of a civil defense volunteer?


According to the Southern Methodist University website for this collection:

The Historic Government Publications from World War II contains 343 Informational pamphlets, government reports, instructions, regulations, declarations, speeches, and propaganda materials distributed by the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO) during the Second World War. The documents are held by Government Information Resources.

The documents, which reflect the thinking of the time, range widely in topics. You can view information on many categories, such as women’s issues, children’s issues, pocket guides to other countries, and more. You can view series, like the Victory Bulletin and 10 issues of the State Summary of War Casualties.

I found the country guides to be very interesting, especially those for Mideast countries such as Syria:

A short guide to Syria [electronic resource] / prepared by Special Service Division, Army Service Forces, United States Army. – http://digitalcollections.smu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/hgp/id/679

A lot of the advice on treating Muslims and mosques, which also appeared in the WWII guide on Iraq seemed to have been forgotten by the time of the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.


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