The Pestana Collection of World War I materials is the generous gift of Dr. Harold R. Pestana, Colby’s Professor of Geology, Emeritus. It is comprised of 4,000 books, magazines, audio and visual recordings, artifacts, and memorabilia pertaining to World War I. Both British and American materials are represented in the collection, which primarily document the experience of the Western Front .
Items such as postwar commentaries, memoirs, poetry, fiction, children’s books, and handwritten letters and journals create an extensive resource for the study of the 1914-1918 time period. Non-book materials include over 100 videotape recordings, as well as audio and phonograph recordings. Dr. Pestana also collected historical artifacts, including rifles, helmets, hood gas masks, and art items such as magazines, posters, photographs and postcards which document the era of the Great War.
Recent additions to the collection include over 100 published items on the French Foreign Legion and 12 linear feet of Great War-related miniatures (toy soldiers, model tanks, planes, and other items).