Western History & Genealogy Blog

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Caring, Imagination and Persistence

Library donated by Women's Auxiliary
1945 - Marines after Iwo Jima in traveling library donated by Women's Auxiliary

When they decided to help, nothing stopped them.

Our archives act as a time machine allowing us to view the past from many different perspectives. World War II appears through the eyes of soldiers experiencing combat, through the eyes of mothers, wives and children writing letters describing the home front and through the eyes of concerned organizations wanting to help soldiers any way that they could.

The papers of the Women’s Auxiliary to the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. (WAAIME), reveal imaginative women with the desire to help by providing any relief from combat that they could. In 1941, the Royal Canadian Engineers were dispatched to England leaving behind needy families. WAAIME collected money to help the families and to send items to the engineers in England. In 1943, they bought fishing gear, hobby kits and encyclopedias for soldiers to take their minds off of battle. In 1945, troops fighting in the Pacific enjoyed a traveling rest center equipped with comfortable chairs and books selected for pleasure and distraction.

While the main focus of WAAIME was and is to provide loan scholarships to needy college students majoring in the earth sciences, it also responded to need during crises. Flood relief for Holland, clothing for Korean orphans during the Korean War and books for isolated American schools constitute only some of the projects taken on by the organization. Members displayed imagination, dedication and persistence.

Papers of the Women’s Auxiliary to the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers range from 1916 to 2003 and are available for research in the Western History/Genealogy Department of Denver Public Library.

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