1914: Then Came Armageddon

About This Exhibit

George L. Mosse Program in History

1914: Then Came Armageddon, featuring materials donated to UW Libraries by Professor and Art Historian Andrew Laurie Stangel and from other collections within the UW Libraries and Archives and the Historical Society of Wisconsin commemorates the centennial of the outbreak of the Great War in August 1914. The exhibit utilizes diverse and compelling documents and images to help us understand how and why the world marched to war during the summer of 1914. The primary, though not exclusive, focus of the exhibit are materials on the outbreak and early phases of the war in Western Europe where the description of one contemporary commentator, “Then came Armageddon,” unquestionably applies.The rich collection of WWI primary source materials displayed in the exhibit includes newspaper accounts, war medals, photographs, cartoons, paintings, diplomatic correspondence, death certificates, propaganda, postcards, and children’s toys, among others. The exhibit confronts life and death on both the battlefield and the home front. Visually experiencing artifacts from the war era allowed visitors to better comprehend how individuals engaged the violent new reality that emerged from those first shots one hundred years ago and develop a better appreciation of the challenges and opportunities the war presented.

Our online exhibition is an adaptation and expansion of the 2014 Special Collections exhibit of the same name, curated by then-graduate students Skye Doney and Eric O’Conner. This is the first fully digital exhibition produced by the George L. Mosse Program in conjunction with UW Special Collections.

George L. Mosse Program in History

George L. Mosse, a great historian, teacher, mentor, and friend, graced the UW-Madison campus for some forty years, and the Hebrew University in Jerusalem for some twenty years creating a vital and variegated international intellectual community. The mission of the Mosse Program, which he endowed, is to support and sustain international scholarship and provide opportunities for generations of scholars to experience that community through graduate, post-doctoral, faculty exchange, graduate fellowships, scholarly publications, conferences, online courses, a digital archive project, exhibits, and visiting scholars.

The Program has provided direct support to over 150 graduate and undergraduate students, offering opportunities that are often not available at public universities. For more information on the Mosse Program and its varied activities, please visit our website.


This digital exhibit was made possible through a partnership of the George L. Mosse Program in History at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, UW Libraries, UWDC, and Special Collections. The exhibit is an expansion of a physical exhibit curated by Eric O’Connor and Skye Doney in 2014. 

Special thanks to Charles Cahill, Matthew Greene, Julianne Haahr, Jesse Henderson, Dave Luke, Jessie Nemec, David Pavelich, Eric O’Connor, Robin Rider, Carly Sentieri, John Tortorice.

The curators of the digital exhibit include George L. Mosse Digital Interns in Digital and European History: Aideen Gabbai, Claire Hitter, Rachel Lynch, Maddy McDonald, Maddy McGlone, and Nicholas O’Connell. 

Rachel Lynch launched the exhibit. Aideen Gabbai and Maddy McDonald expanded and finalized it.