Campus WWI exhibit transitions to online format

Brewster County soldiers and American Red Cross workers, World War I, Alpine, Texas. Photo taken on July 7, 1919. Photo courtesy of Sul Ross State University

ALPINE — The Bryan Wildenthal Memorial Library, Archives of the Big Bend and the Museum of the Big Bend recently finished a collaboration focusing on the transition of a WWI exhibit at the library to a virtual format.

“WWI: Lessons and Legacies” is organized by the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Service and the National Museum of American History.

The exhibit has been in the works since Fall 2019 and is supported by SRSU history faculty according to Betsy Evans, director of Access, Instruction, and Outreach.

“We were originally planning to host an in-person exhibit on the second floor of the library following spring break with documents and photos from the Archives and real artifacts from the Museum of the Big Bend,” Evans said.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the closure of the Sul Ross campus to the public, we decided to transform the exhibit to an online format to share with people and still be able to give some true regional context about the Great War.”

Evans noted that the university hopes to share the artifacts and documents in person at a later date.

“Of great excitement in our planning phase was a panoramic photo taken in 1919 of soldiers, sailors, and American Red Cross workers in front of the Brewster County courthouse in Alpine,” said Evans. The photo was taken by Duncan Photo of Marfa, Texas.

To view the online exhibit, visit