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Council of National Defense Collection

Council of National Defense

The Council of National Defense was created in 1916 to coordinate the war effort during World War I. Members consisted of the Secretary of War, the Secretary of the Navy, the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of Agriculture, the Secretary of Commerce, and the Secretary of Labor, along with a nonpartisan advisory board appointed by the President. In 1917, the Council advised states to create their own Councils of Defense. Some states also appointed separate Councils for women and African Americans. The Council was disbanded in 1921.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of publications released by the Council, including bulletins, circulars,and general letters, as well as specialized publications on topics such as war bonds and wartime cooking.


Available onlineThe Council of National Defense collection has been digitized by the University of Missouri and is freely available online through the HathiTrust.

All titles are cataloged and available through MERLIN, the University's online catalog and can be browsed under the author heading Council of National Defense Collection (University of Missouri–Columbia. Libraries). The collection does not circulate. Books must be used in Special Collections' reading room during service hours or by appointment.