Who We Are

Janalyn Moss

Janalyn Moss is the History, Anthropology, and Military Science librarian at the University of Iowa.

    Jennifer Hootman

    Jennifer Hootman is the Digital Humanities Librarian and Academic Liaison to History at the University of Kentucky Libraries. Jennifer holds a MS in library and information science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a MA in history from Illinois State University.

      Our Project & Mission

      Today’s high school students have never known a time in their lives when the United States has not been at war. The US has been at war since 2001 starting with the War in Afghanistan. As the “War on Terror” rages on, US citizens have become increasingly aware of the experience of US troops in the Iraq War. The ongoing conflict with ISIL generates speculation of a new American “boots on the ground” presence. With a national spotlight on veterans, interest and the demand for information on their experiences have grown. So as we thank military personnel for their service we can also task ourselves with discovering more about these experiences.

      It is with this in mind, that we create this project focusing on the experiences of the American prisoner of war (POW.). Living their lives in waiting, POWs made a unique sacrifice for their county. Enduring deprivation, physical torture, and psychological trauma were only part of the experience. For the POW in recent history there has been much more to their story: adhering to the Code of Conduct, maintaining the military hierarchy and discipline, establishing communications networks, etc. The POW experience in our nation’s early history differed quite dramatically. We would like to shine a spotlight on resources that share all of these experiences.

      Return with Honor: A Bibliography of Personal Accounts of American Military Prisoners of War is a web-based, curated bibliography of the published memoirs, autobiographies, personal narratives, and oral histories of military prisoners of war who served in the American Armed Forces throughout our history. Currently, the discoverability of these types of primary source materials remains segmented. Existing tools may focus on POWs by specific conflict, theater, or branch of the armed forces. We are attempting to create a resource that is comprehensive in scope, inclusive of all American conflicts, theaters, and branches. In addition, the bibliography also includes notable secondary works (in all formats) that feature extensive primary research, as well as works dealing with the stateside/home front experience of POW families.

      This project is relevant to a broad audience inclusive of general readers/history buffs, instructors wishing to incorporate such resources into the classroom, as well as librarians seeking to acquire same for their respective institutions. One intent of the project is to increase findability for suitable materials that may be used for activities ranging from education to research. It may also help students identify resources for research papers or National History Day projects, and beyond. 

      We hope you enjoy and find our project useful.