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“Little Wooly Book,” or WWII secret intelligence book, 1944

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute

Photo by Kevin Grady/Radcliffe Institute


From 1943 to 1945, Katherine Keene (1919–2013) served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), attached to the secret intelligence branch of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in London. Her duties included nominating potential bombing sites on the basis of photographs of German munitions stockpiles. To aid in identification, Keene used the extremely tiny images in her classified copy of “Instructions for Recording Markings of German Military Equipment,” or, as she called it, her “little wooly book”—a small volume clad in wool that she could conceal in her waistband. Keene recorded her wartime experiences in her diary and later typed excerpts as captions for the photographs she had taken.

Katherine M. Keene Papers, Schlesinger Library

Catalog record:


Learn more:

See the Schlesinger Library's research guide on World War II.


Heather Min