This scrapbook contains around 120 pages of correspondence, photographs, newspaper clippings, and ephemera related to the soldiers' canteen that Katharine G. Prest hosted at her home in Lancaster, Massachusetts, between June 1941 and August 1945.
Soldiers stationed throughout the United States and in both major theaters of war frequently wrote to Prest, expressing their gratitude for her hospitality and sometimes reporting on their experiences after leaving Massachusetts; soldiers' wives and mothers occasionally thanked Prest as well. Emily J. Nichols, who worked for the American Red Cross at Fort Devens, corresponded with Prest about upcoming events for wounded men. The servicemen sent manuscript letters, V-mail letters, postcards, and Christmas cards. Many of the postcards include cartoons and other illustrations, most frequently regarding military life. Snapshots and formal portraits show groups of young men and women relaxing at the Prests' home, often near the pool, and soldiers in uniform at various locations.
Prest collected newspaper clippings about her wartime activities and about the war, particularly related to soldiers' experiences in the European Theater. Some clippings include photographs of Prest. The scrapbook contains a small number of printed programs, song lyrics, insignia patches, and a pin from the 101st Cavalry Regiment. One page consists of several soldiers' drawings, including a caricature of Adolf Hitler with target values printed on various parts of his body. A colored illustration commemorating the 101st Cavalry Regiment and several portraits of unidentified individuals are drawn directly into the volume. Later items include awards and certificates of thanks that Prest received from various organizations (undated, WWII era), an award celebrating her commitment to fighting cancer (1951), and a birth announcement (written on a photograph) (January 25, 1954).
Two items pre-date United States involvement in the war: a 1930 group photograph of the "Lawyer's Club" (including William M. Preston), and a 1940 book entitled Yuletide in Many Lands.