Accessing children’s historical experiences through their art: four drawings of aerial warfare from the Spanish Civil War

This article considers the potential for children’s drawings to be utilized more widely as documentary evidence by historians. Children remain seen but not heard in much of history, with a noted source problem hampering efforts to address this. Drawings are a different type of ambiguous evidence but there is a compelling case for their usage, partly demonstrated by various professional uses including the acceptance of children’s drawings as evidence in courts. This article analyses four boys’ drawings of aerial conflict from the Spanish Civil War which are powerful visual reminders of the toll of war on children and exemplify the communicative power of non-linguistic sources to a heavily textual discipline.