1. Skip to Content
  2. Skip to Footer

Saving the Reality: A Sacred Mission

The Museum of World War II is a research and educational institution devoted to preserving and exhibiting the reality of World War II. It is the most comprehensive collection of documents and artifacts on display anywhere in the world, with over 7,000 artifacts on display; more than 500,000 documents and photographs are in the research archives.

The Museum’s mission is to preserve the reality of those who fought on home fronts and battle fronts to destroy evil and to make this reality part of today’s education. It is the mission of the Museum to make the lessons of the causes and events of World War II understood, and their relevance to today’s events appreciated. An understanding of the future is found in the history of human events.

The Museum uniquely shows the human story interwoven with the military and political events through all of the artifacts that made up life, from everyday, to the most momentous decisions during the war.

Education, through the Museum's exhibitions and our Education Center, is the fundamental mission in preserving the reality of World War II.

Kenneth W. Rendell, Founder and Director

Dan Aykroyd narrated video documentary
World War II, Saving the Reality
WWII Foundation


Politics, War and Personality
Fifty Iconic World War II Documents That Changed the World

Tom Hanks was the inspiration for this book when he said at the premiere of the HBO series The Pacific that "The Museum is the repository for the actual Holy Grail documents of World War II." All fifty iconic documents featured in this book can be found in the Museum, from Adolph Hitler's earliest anti-Semetic rant written on the announcement of the Versailles Treaty to the order to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Throughout the museum the red letter V denotes the letters and documents included in the book. It is also available at book stores and on Amazon for $29.95.

World War II:
Saving the Reality


 The reality of World War II told through fifty years of collecting artifacts, letters and documents from all areas of the war. This 142-page large-format book, with over 700 illustrations of pieces in the collection is available now at bookstores and Amazon. A DVD documentary about the Museum of World War II, narrated by Dan Aykroyd, is available at Amazon and is broadcast nationwide on PBS.




Action This Day is the quarterly newsletter for the Museum, full of WWII facts, updates on our exhibits and other activities.

Spring 2016 Edition

See the Archives for past issues or sign up below to have them sent directly to your email address!


Metrowest Foundation

In December 2016, the Museum received a $10,000 grant from the Foundation for MetroWest to support our professional development initiatives for teachers. The funds will be used to sustain our professional development programs in which area teachers work alongside museum staff and university scholars to develop customized museum experiences for their students using original documents and artifacts in the Museum’s archives.


The Museum received a $100,000 grant from Cummings Foundation to develop our education program. The program will include hands-on field experiences for students, professional development workshops for teachers, and utilize technology to enhance interaction with the Museum’s authentic artifacts. Developing the program will be Marshall W. Carter who joins the Museum in the fall as its first Director of Education.

“We are honored to be selected by Cummings Foundation for this notable grant,” said Kenneth W. Rendell, Founder and Executive Director of the Museum of World War II.  “One of our primary goals through the Museum is to influence how World War II history is taught in schools, and to bring a deeper and truer understanding of the reality of war to students and teachers alike. This grant will enable us to use original documents and artifacts from World War II to educate schools in a more meaningful and authentic way.”

About the Cummings Foundation


This is some of the most recent media coverage on the museum.

From WGBH's Open Studio with Jared Bowen: Museum of World War II and "In the Wake"

From the Boston Globe, Enigma, Wrapped in a Paradox, Inside an Exhibit

From the New York Times, Like Smoldering Sparks, War's Ephemera: A World War II Exhibition at the Grolier Club


Upcoming and Recent Exhibitions of Museum Artifacts at Other Institutions:

  • The Power of Words and Images in a World at War, May - August, 2014 at the Groiler Club, New York City
  • From Barbed Wire to Battlefields: Japanese American Experiences in WWII, March - October, 2014 at the National WWII Museum, New Orleans, LA 
  • Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of James Bond Villains, November, 2012 thru November, 2014 at the International Spy Museum, Washington  
  • OSS:  Spy & Sabotage Equipment,  permanent exhibit at the CIA Museum, Headquarters,  Langley, Virginia (not open to the public)


The 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor: Why We Still Remember

Our popular exhibition on Pearl Harbor is continuing through the spring. “The 75th Anniversary of Pearl Harbor: Why We Still Remember” chronicles what transpired before, during, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor, including insights into what the atmosphere in Japan was like leading up to “the day that will live in infamy.” The exhibit features rare artifacts, including piece of Japanese planes shot down over Pearl Harbor and the original first message in the opening moments of the attack warning all U.S. Navy ships: “AIRRAID ON PEARL HARBOR X THIS IS NO DRILL,” among numerous others. For more information and to schedule a time to visit, please call 508-653-1944 or e-mail at visit@imwwii.org.