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Guy Serge Metraux papers

Call Number: MS 23

Scope and Contents

The papers of Guy Serge Metraux relate primarily to his service as a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Delegation to the United States of America, 1944-1946. During this time Metraux visited 190 prisoner of war camps in the Mid-West, South and West and reported on conditions for the Red Cross. A general report of his activities and observations is found in folder 14, "Rapport General et Observations sur les Camps de Prisonniers de Guerre et sur la Delegation aux Etats-Unis, Septembre 1944-Juin 1946," Washington, D.C., June 12, 1946. Series II of the papers includes instructions and memos of the Red Cross, minutes of meetings and Metraux's correspondence and reports. Series III, the largest part of the papers, consists of materials prepared and collected at individual camps arranged alphabetically by the name of the camp.

In addition to the papers relating to American prisoner of war camps, there is a group of papers itn Series I relating to Mr. Metraux's proposed doctoral dissertation of James G. Huneker. Of the seventy-two letters to and from Metraux covering the period 1943 January through 1944 May, there are seventeen letters from H.L. Mencken. Some other correspondents include Edward Ziegler, Guy Pene de Bois, Diana Huneker Lagen, Clayton Hamilton and Benjamin de Casseres. After working for the Red Cross, Mr. Metraux selected another subject for his dissertation in American Studies at Yale University. In 1949, he submitted a dissertation entitled, "Social Aspects of Swiss Immigration into the United States in the 19th Century," and received the Ph.D. degree from Yale. Before entering the Yale graduate school, Mr. Metraux received B.A. and M.A. degrees from the University of Michigan. At present, he is working for UNESCO in Paris as Secretary General of the International Commission for a Scientific and Cultural History of Mankind.

Mr. Metraux donated these four boxes of his papers to the Yale University Library in 1946 and 1947.


  • 1831-1947


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 Guy S. Metraux, 1946-1947; 1988.


Arranged in five series: I. Personal Papers. II. Official Papers. III. Prisoner of War Camps. IV. Printed Materials. V. Miscellaneous.


1.5 Linear Feet (4 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 chiefly of correspondence, reports and printed matter related to Metraux's activities during World War II as a representative of the International Red Cross inspecting prisoner of war camps in the United States. Also included is a small amount of correspondence on his proposed Ph.D. dissertation at Yale University on James G. Huneker. An important correspondent is H. L. Mencken with 17 letters (1943-1944).

Biographical / Historical

Delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Delegation to the United States of America, 1944-1946; Yale Ph.D. 1949; Secretary General of the International Commission for a Scientific and Cultural History of Mankind, UNESCO, Paris (1969).

Guide to the Guy Serge Metraux Papers
Under Revision
compiled by John Mikalavicius and Francis Radvonovsky
September 1969
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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