Institute on World War II and the Human Experience


Florida State University, Department of History; 430 Bellamy Building, 113 Collegiate Loop
FL 23206-2200
United States


+1 850-644-9541


+1 850-644-6402


Founded in 1997 by the late Dr. William Oldson, the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience strives to preserve the photographs, letters, and artifacts of service members and their families.

Geographical and Cultural Context

Since its founding, the Institute has continued to enable thousands of veterans to preserve their legacies of service.

Mandates/Sources of Authority

The Institute receives support from the several units of Florida State University, including the History Department and the College of Arts and Sciences. Private philanthropy plays an integral part in funding Institute lectures, conferences, and salaries for the Institute Archivist and student assistants. The Florida State University Foundation is currently seeking private gifts in order to create a permanent home for the Institute as part of the Veteran Legacy Complex that would also house the Student Veteran Center and the ROTC programs.

Records Management and Collecting Policies

The collections of primary resources now total almost 7,000, largely in the form of personal papers. They are contained in nearly 800 cubic feet of paper documents, 75 cubic feet of photographs, 382 linear feet of books, more than 600 maps, paintings, and magazines, and 300 cubic feet of artifacts.

Archival and Other Holdings

The Institute maintains a collection of diaries, letters, photographs, memorabilia, and comparable materials related to the everyday experiences of the participants in World War II. The commitment of the Institute to research and public awareness is demonstrated through public access to the collection and community outreach programs.

Finding Aids, Guides, and Publication

The Institute is currently in the process of creating publicly accessible finding aids for its holdings, which can be found on their Special Collections page.

The Institute's collections supported a number of publications and media projects, including the History Channel documentary series, The Color of War.

Opening Times

From Monday through Friday: 08:30 - 16:00.

Research Services

While Archon still represents a small portion of the holdings, you can find more collections by submitting a formal research inquiry to the staff at

As a result of a gift from the late Thomas S. Cundy, Sr., the Institute offers a travel grant to Tallahassee for research in the Institute’s Collections. A long-term goal of the Institute is to provide pre-doctoral and post-doctoral fellowship for the study of the Second World War.


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