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Victor Oscar Freeburg papers

Call Number: MS 223

Scope and Contents

The Victor Oscar Freeburg papers consist of short writings, notes, memorabilia, and other papers. There is a small amount of correspondence, which falls into three groups: four letters of 1915 congratulating Freeburg on his book, Disguise Plots in Elizabethan Drama; three letters of 1921 concerning Freeburg's unrealized plans for a round-the-world cruise for writers and artists (a diary and memorabilia relating to this planned cruise are also included in the collection); and a longer sequence of letters with Freeburg's replies, 1938-1949, concerning his research on the Colonial painter Gustavus Hesselius (1682-1755). Among Freeburg's writings is an article on Hesselius, accompanied by research notes, an exhibition catalogue and photographs of Hesselius's works, and a copy of Hesselius's will.

Several other of Freeburg's writings concern ciphers and codes. Related to these are nine glass lantern slides showing pictures and tables of ciphers from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century. These slides are in box 3. Also among the writings is the play "Sunset," produced at Yale in 1908 and acted in by Sinclair Lewis. The text is accompanied by memorabilia; other items related to the play are included in a scrapbook which covers the years 1905-1913. The contents of the scrapbook cover Freeburg's years at Yale, the U.S. Naval Academy, and the College of the City of New York, as well as his early publications and public speaking engagements.

The remaining items in the collection are a logbook from the Torpedo Training School which Freeburg attended during his service in World War I containing notes and pencil drawings of machinery; and notes and notebooks on such varied subjects as sociology, Swedish poetry, and geographical allusions in English poetry.

These papers were donated to Yale University in 1953 by Mrs. Victor Oscar Freeburg.


  • 1905-1949


Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright status for collection materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Mrs. V. O. Freeburg, 1953.


0.75 Linear Feet (3 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Orbis, the Yale University Library catalog

Persistent URL


The papers consist of correspondence, short writings, notes, memorabilia and printed matter. The correspondence is largely made up of letters commenting on Freeburg's writings on Elizabethan drama and Hesselius. Other writings relate to ciphers and codes. Also in the papers is a scrapbook containing memorabilia of Freeburg's years at Yale together with a play entitled Sunset, produced at Yale in 1908 and acted in by Sinclair Lewis. A second scrapbook (1905-1913) reflects Freeburg's early career teaching at the U.S. Naval Academy, the College of the City of New York and contains copies of his writings and speeches.

Biographical / Historical

Victor Oscar Freeburg, writer, painter, and teacher, taught English at the United States Naval Academy from 1906-1907. From 1908-1913, he was an instructor of public speaking at the College of the City of New York. Freeburg was an instructor of English at Haverford College from 1913-1915 and at Columbia from 1915-1916. He edited the Swedish-American Trade Journal from 1919-1922 and was a writer on the staff of the Milbank Memorial Fund from 1931-1936. In addition to his teaching and writing, Freeburg was a painter of portraits and landscapes.

Guide to the Victor Oscar Freeburg Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Janet Elaine Gertz
May 1983
Description rules
Finding Aid Created In Accordance With Manuscripts And Archives Processing Manual
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

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