Descriptions of Unique AFS Archival Material from both World Wars Now Available Online

New York City, June 30, 2011 - For the first time, descriptions of the World War I and II collections at the Archives of the American Field Service and AFS Intercultural Programs (AFS Archives) are searchable online on AFS’s Website: www.afs.org/afs-history-and-archives

The AFS Archives contains documents, photographs, works of art, recordings, and artifacts from the American Field Service organization and its volunteers, men who experienced both World Wars from the vantage point of ambulance drivers.

Examples of historic events these volunteers participated in include the Battle of Verdun in 1916 and the evacuation of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945.

The unprecedented availability of the collections was made possible by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

This grant allowed AFS to arrange and describe archival materials at a basic level, and to create a Web site where researchers can easily browse subject terms, record groups, and 55 finding aids, which give short descriptions of collection contents. Finding aids are now also catalogued in national databases such as ArchiveGrid.

"We are very excited to offer much easier access to our unique collections, and hope to see many new audiences using them. We also expect the centennial commemorations of the outbreak of World War I and the founding of the American Field Service in 1914-15 to attract new users." said Francisco Cazal, president and CEO of AFS Intercultural Programs, Inc.

The records contained in the AFS Archives are of great interest to researchers of military and medical history, history of associational voluntarism, the Holocaust, U.S. relations with foreign governments, genealogy, and international secondary school exchange.

AFS today is an international exchange organization for students and young adults that operates in more than 80 countries, and organizes and supports intercultural learning experiences. Founded by volunteer ambulance drivers following WWII and sustained to this day by an international cadre of tens of thousands of volunteers, AFS has transformed the lives of millions of students, families, and individuals.

Contact: Carlos Porro
Tel: 212.807.8686, ext. 1921
Email: carlos.porro@afs.org