TROY Libraries’ traveling military postcard exhibit debuts at Air University

Left to right are: Kelly Reeves, project director, Air University Library Director Alisha Miles and Jeff Simpson with the Air University Library.

Left to right are: Kelly Reeves, project director, Air University Library Director Alisha Miles and Jeff Simpson with the Air University Library.

A Troy University Libraries traveling exhibit that traces the history of military service through postcards has landed at Maxwell Air Force Base.

The exhibit, “Military Service: A History in Postcards,” will be displayed at Air University’s Fairchild Library Building at Maxwell through April 29, marking the traveling exhibit’s first public showing.

The exhibit features postcard images from the Wade Hall Postcard Collection held by Troy University Libraries and is made possible by a grant from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. The exhibit is the fourth traveling exhibit featuring postcards from Hall’s collection. The previous exhibits focused on scenes from Alabama’s historic streets, historic or government buildings and tourism in the state.

The traveling exhibit features 16 printed screen banners, each portraying a distinctive aspect of military history. The postcards exhibited feature each of the current branches of service, scenes from Alabama military bases including Maxwell Army Air Base and Camp Sheridan, military-themed comics, personal and action photos, and military-themed prayer, slogan and victory cards, among others.

Overall, Hall’s collection of military postcards represents scenes from more than 200 camps and forts from 46 states, the District of Columbia and six countries.

“Getting the Military Service exhibit to venues serving a military community is one of the goals I have for this project,” said Kelly Reeves, TROY Library Assistant and Evening Circulation Supervisor who serves as director of the project. ”Also, being supported by the Alabama Humanities Foundation, I wanted to reach the military community in Alabama. Air University on Maxwell AFB is an ideal venue to promote the project and Troy University’s support for military service.”

Adding to the historical images, nearly 500 postcards in the collection contain written messages, which portray the thoughts of service members and their families and serve to humanize military service, particularly during wartime.

An alumnus of Troy State Teachers College, Dr. Hall, who died in 2015, was born in Bullock County, Alabama near Union Springs. He was a professor of English, an author, historian, collector and philanthropist. Dr. Hall received his master’s degree from the University of Alabama and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. He taught English for 30 years at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. His authored works include: Conecuh People: Words of Life from the Alabama Black Belt; The Kentucky Anthology: Two Hundred Years of Writing in the Bluegrass State; and Greetings from Kentucky: A Postcard Tour, 1900 to 1950. From 1953 to 1956, Dr. Hall also served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Germany.

The exhibit features postcards images from the Wade Hall Postcard Collection held by Troy University Libraries.
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