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    Vaupel, Elisabeth and Preiß, Florian 2018. Kinder, sammelt Knochen!. NTM Zeitschrift für Geschichte der Wissenschaften, Technik und Medizin, Vol. 26, Issue. 2, p. 151.

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Book description

During the Second World War, the United Kingdom faced severe shortages of essential raw materials. To keep its armaments factories running, the British government enlisted millions of people in efforts to recycle a wide range of materials for use in munitions production. Recycling not only supplied British munitions factories with much-needed raw materials - it also played a key role in the efforts of the British government to maintain the morale of its citizens, to secure billions of dollars in Lend-Lease aid from the United States, and to uncover foreign intelligence. However, Britain's wartime recycling campaign came at a cost: it consumed items that would never have been destroyed under normal circumstances, including significant parts of the nation's cultural heritage. Based on extensive archival research, Peter Thorsheim examines the relationship between armaments production, civil liberties, cultural preservation, and diplomacy, making Waste into Weapons the first in-depth history of twentieth-century recycling in Britain.

Reviews

'An important contribution to our understanding of total war. This is a vivid and original account of the shifts and expedients of warfare as they interacted with the voracious demands of a war economy. This study deserves attention.'

Jeremy Black - University of Exeter

'Waste into Weapons is a novel study. Historians have not given due attention to the important role of preserving resources in wartime, which speaks both to the urgency of the war and the kind of sacrifices expected from the citizenry. But as Peter Thorsheim pointedly reminds us, there was an ‘urge to destroy’ parts of the material culture that transcended the patriotic duty of winning the war. This is a book that brings together the materiality and culture of the war like few others.'

Martin V. Melosi - author of The Sanitary City

'This is an excellent book. Salvage collection and recycling during the Second World War made a major contribution to the British war effort, and at last we have a full history. Based on extensive research in many archives, Thorsheim finally gives this unique episode in the history of recycling the attention it deserves. The analysis ranges from the strategic and diplomatic to the economic and psychological, providing new insight into the efforts made to secure scrap metal; the sacrifice of historical artifacts, books, and documents; and women’s and children’s contributions as salvage collectors.'

Ina Zweiniger-Bargielowska - University of Illinois, Chicago

'This book is written in a lively and accessible way. It reveals that there is still much to learn about this conflict. Aside from being a key text on recycling and salvage in wartime, this book, owing to the breadth and depth in which topics such as the home front, women and Britain’s international relations are examined, is likely to become essential reading for scholars and general readers alike, interested in the complex nature of the Second World War.'

Mark J. Crowley Source: Twentieth Century British History

'Waste into Weapons is a timely and insightful addition to the growing literature on waste and recycling. Thorsheim’s meticulous research has amply demonstrated the paradox of the Second World War - that Britons were encouraged and ordered to conserve and recycle in order that the war effort could destroy. Waste into Weapons reveals the militarization of everyday life that redefined rubbish and that destroyed historical artifacts, buildings, and manuscripts. It speaks to the power of propaganda but also to the limits of coercion. This is a must-read for historians of war, the environment, consumption, and waste. Thorsheim’s work is a valuable addition to the literature and is also evidence that the Second World War remains a fruitful field of study.

Sandra Dawson Source: H-War

'Waste into Weapons is a very good book that will appeal to scholars and general audiences interested in military history, environmental history, waste management, material culture, and heritage conservation.'

Alex Souchen Source: Canadian Military History

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Bodleian Library, Oxford University, Department of Special Collections and Western Manuscripts

  • Papers of Christopher Addison

  • Papers of Harold Macmillan

  • Papers of Frederick James Marquis, first Earl of Woolton

Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York

  • Papers of Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, first Earl of Halifax

British Library, London

  • British Library Corporate Archives

Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge

  • Winston Churchill Papers

Cumbria Records Office, Barrow

  • Ulverston Urban District Council Records

East Sussex Record Office, Brighton

  • Archive of Charles Sheppard and Sons of Battle, Solicitors

  • East Sussex County Council Records

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library (National Archives and Records Administration), Hyde Park, New York

  • President’s Official File

  • Papers of James H. Rowe

Georgetown University Library Special Collections Research Center, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.

  • Harry L. Hopkins Papers

Library of Congress Manuscript Division, Washington, D.C.

  • W. Averell Harriman Papers

London Metropolitan Archives

  • London County Council Records

  • Middlesex County Council Records

Modern Records Centre, Warwick University, Coventry

  • Trades Union Congress Records

U.S. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), College Park, Maryland

  • Office of Lend-Lease Administration Records

National Archives of England, Wales, and the United Kingdom, Kew (NA)

  • Board of Education: ED 10, 11, 138

  • Board of Trade: BT 11, 28, 64, 87, 213, 258

  • Cabinet Office: CAB 68, 75, 115

  • Exchequer and Audit Department: AO 30

  • Foreign Office: FO 371, 837, 954

  • General Register Office: RG 23

  • Home Office: HO 186, 207

  • Metropolitan Police: MEPO 2

  • Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries: MAF 35, 58

  • Ministry of Aviation: AVIA 11, 15, 22, 38, 46

  • Ministry of Housing and Local Government: HLG 51, 102

  • Ministry of Information: INF 1, 6

  • Ministry of Munitions: MUN 4

  • Ministry of Power: POWE 5

  • Ministry of Supply: SUPP 3, 14

  • Ministry of War Transport: MT 59

  • Ministry of Works: WORK 14, 16, 19, 22

  • Prime Minister's Office: PREM 1, 3, 8

  • Public Record Office: PRO 30

  • Treasury: T 160, 161, 162, 172

  • War Office: WO 107

National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth

  • Papers of Megan Lloyd George

Nuffield College Library, Oxford University

  • Papers of Frederick Alexander Lindemann, Viscount Cherwell of Oxford

Parliamentary Archives, London

  • Papers of William Maxwell Aitken, first Baron Beaverbrook

Royal Voluntary Service Archive & Heritage Collection, Devizes

  • Records of Women's Voluntary Services

Shakespeare Centre Library and Archive, Stratford-upon-Avon

  • Reformed Borough of Stratford-upon-Avon Records

University College London, Special Collections

  • Library Association Records

University of Virginia Library, Special Collections, Charlottesville, Virginia

  • Edward R. Stettinius Jr. Papers (Accession #2723-z)

Walsall Local History Centre

  • Files of Correspondence concerning Salvage during World War II (235/1–5)

The Women's Library, London School of Economics

  • Records of the National Federation of Women's Institutes

  • Jackson, Evelyn. Interview by Peter Thorsheim. St. Leonards-on-Sea, 27 July 2009.

  • Bath Weekly Chronicle and Herald

  • Daily Telegraph

  • Devon and Exeter Gazette

  • Farmer and Stockbreeder

  • Gloucestershire Echo

  • Graphic (London)

  • Hastings & St. Leonards Observer

  • Manchester Guardian

  • New York Times

  • News Chronicle

  • Press and Journal (Aberdeen)

  • Spectator

  • Sunday Express

  • Sunday Times (London)

  • Times (London)

  • Tottenham and Edmonton Weekly Herald

  • Tottenham Calling

  • Tribune (London)

  • Walsall Observer

  • Walsall Times

  • A Week of the War

  • Western Daily Press and Bristol Mirror

  • Western Morning News (Devon)

  • Yorkshire Post

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“The Appeal for Aluminium.” WVS Bulletin, Aug. 1940, 1.
“Arms and the Scrap.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 22 Feb. 1941, 2.
“A Big Task: Where the Cleansing Service Comes in.” Public Cleansing, Jan. 1940, 144.
“Bones for War Purposes.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 17 Aug. 1940, 3.
“Book Recovery.” Library Association Record 45 (Oct. 1943): 174.
“Books Wanted.” Public Cleansing and Salvage, Feb. 1943, 195.
“Britain Buys U.S.A. Scrap.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 31 Aug. 1940, 3.
Central Parish Councils Committee. Salvage in Rural Areas. London: National Council of Social Service, 1944.
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deWilde, John C., Green, James Frederick, and Trueblood, Howard J.. “Europe's Economic War Potential.” Foreign Policy Reports 15 (15 Oct. 1939): 178–92.
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“Hastings Prosecution.” Public Cleansing and Salvage, Nov. 1943, 128.
Hill, Reginald Harrison. “The National Central Library: Impressions and Prospects.” Library Association Record 47 (Dec. 1945): 246–52.
“The House of Commons.” Builder, 6 Feb. 1942, 120.
“The Institute of Public Cleansing: Scottish Centre at Glasgow.” Public Cleansing, June 1940, 313–16.
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“Iron and Steel Scrap Markets.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 25 March 1939, 13.
“Iron Railings.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 31 Aug. 1940, 19.
“Islington in the Forefront.” Public Cleansing, June 1940, 335.
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“The King's Scrap Gift.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 20 July 1940, 5.
Leach, Benny. Letter to the editor. Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 17 Aug. 1940, 8.
Leadlay, E. O. “Waste Paper Goes to War.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 18 July 1942, 22.
“London Scrap Exhibition.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 17 Aug. 1940, 13.
“Making Manchester Salvage Conscious.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 22 Nov. 1941, 10–11.
“Man Who Cannot Read Is Now Salvage Sleuth.” Public Cleansing, Jan. 1942, 146.
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“Marlborough Guns.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 7 Sept 1940, 2.
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“Memorial Plaque for Salvage.” Public Cleansing, April 1942, 224.
“Miss Megan Lloyd George, M.P., Cuts Railings for Scrap Campaign.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 28 Dec. 1940, 8.
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“The National Central Library Fire.” Library Association Record 43 (May 1941): 88.
“National Scrap Campaign” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 23 Sept. 1939, 2.
“National Survey of Fixed and Demolition Scrap.” Builder, 11 Oct. 1940, 367.
“The National Survey of Fixed and Demolition Scrap Iron and Steel: Results of First Month's Test Operation.” Public Cleansing, Dec. 1940, 118.
“Naval Relics Saved.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 24 Aug. 1940, 2.
“Nazi Vandals.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 23 Aug. 1941, 3.
“New Controller of Salvage (Local Authorities).” Public Cleansing, Jan. 1942, 126.
“Old Guns for the Melting Pot.” Waste Trade World and the Iron and Steel Scrap Review, 10 Aug. 1940, 8.
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“Park Railings: Manchester's Report on Removal.” Municipal Review, Sept. 1940, 190.
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