When the International Prisoners-of-War Agency was established by the ICRC 100 years ago this August, its objective was
to trace people who had been separated from loved ones during the First World War. It was a huge task: during and after
the war, agency volunteers processed tracing requests concerning nearly 2.5 million prisoners of war.
With no form of mechanized data management then available, all requests were analysed, sorted, typed
on index cards and filed for future use. For more, see our list of links at www.redcross.int.