In honor of the centennial of World War I, the Spencer Research Library Blog is going to follow the experiences of one American soldier: twenty-year-old Forrest W. Bassett, whose letters are held in Spencer’s Kansas Collection. Each Monday the library will post a new entry, which will feature Bassett’s letters to fifteen-year-old Ava Marie Shaw from that following week, one hundred years after he wrote them.

Forrest W. Bassett was born in Beloit, Wisconsin, on December 21, 1897 to Daniel F. and Ida V. Bassett. On July 20, 1917 he was sworn into military service at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri. Soon after, he was transferred to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, for training as a radio operator in Company A of the U. S. Signal Corps’ 6th Field Battalion.

Please enjoy the most recent update to Forrest’s story. For previous entries, please visit the Spencer Research Library’s blog – starting with the first post from August 4th.

Becky Schulte has been the University Archivist at the University of Kansas since 2003. She previously held the position of Head of Reader Services at KU’s Spencer Research Library and served as the Assistant Curator of the Kansas Collection, the University’s regional history library. In addition to the position of University Archivist she is also Curator of the Wilcox Collection of Contemporary Political Movements at Spencer Library and has worked with the collection since 1985. Schulte graduated from KU in 1976 with a degree in Humanities and received an MA in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1982.