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George Parmly Day papers

Call Number: MS 174
Scope and Contents

The George Parmly Day Papers consist of correspondence and other materials which document Day's long association with Yale University: as a member of the class of 1897; class secretary; founder and director of the Yale University Press; and as treasurer of the university and of the Yale Alumni Fund. The papers primarily concern Day's fund-raising activities but, to a lesser extent, reflect Day's publishing interests and his own writing. Also included in the papers are files of the Acrotorque Company, a manufacturer of transmissions in Cleveland, Ohio.

Some of the Day Papers were given to the Yale Library by George Parmly Day between 1939 and 1959. Other papers were gifts from associates or from offices in which Day had served, the most recent being a donation from the Yale Press in 1982. The Day Papers, while not a part of the Yale Archives, are closely related to official Yale business and contain papers kept by Day as treasurer and as president of Yale Press. Similar materials are found in the treasurer's records (YRG-5B), Alumni Fund records (YRG 7-B-2) and Yale University Press records (YRG 34-A). Additional Day papers, including some donated by George Parmly Day, are located in the Clarence Day Papers (MS 1094) and in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

The papers are arranged in four series: I. LETTERPRESS COPYBOOKS, 1908-1910; II. CORRESPONDENCE, 1900-1960; III. ACROTORQUE COMPANY FILES, 1935-1947; IV. PERSONAL PAPERS, 1894-1956.

While the papers date from 1894 to 1960 the bulk of the material, which is contained in Series II, dates from 1939 to 1954.

Some of the earliest material is in boxes 1-3. Boxes 1 and 2 in Series I contain letterpress copies of Day's outgoing letters from 1908 to 1910. The incoming letter from 1910 are in box 3. Correspondents include Yale classmates, bankers, investors, and friends. The correspondence is personal and financial and a sizeable portion relates to the Yale University Press. Earlier letterbooks of the same character are found in YRG 34-A.

The remainder of Series II, CORRESPONDENCE, is arranged in sections: Yale University, divided further into General and Select, and General. These divisions of material represent an arrangement of files as they were received by the library. Items of the same correspondent may appear in all divisions and each division contains correspondence, minutes, reports, speeches, and printed matter, from the same general time period. George Parmly Day's role as a fund-raiser is the primary focus of all the material.

Material filed under Yale University: General (Boxes 4-5) represents occasional exchanges with many individuals. Folder 39 includes material on the Connecticut Association of the George Junior Republic, of which Day was president, while folder 35 contains letters of condolence on the death of Day's brother Clarence. Throughout there are letters from former Yale students who are serving or had served in World War I, as well as routine letters from Yale faculty, administration, and donors.

Much of the material filed under Yale University: Select (Boxes 6-13) concerns Yale funds and fund-raising. There are several folders concerning class gifts, memorials, and special campaigns filed under "Alumni Fund: General," as well as under names of fund officials such as: Edwin Blair, Edward J. Dimock, and William Ross Proctor, chairmen of the fund; and Curtis P. Fields, executive secretary. Papers containing discussions of donations and management of specific gifts are included in files for: Starling Childs, concerning the Jane Coffin Childs Memorial Fund for Medical Research; Theron Rockwell Field, Class of 1889 S Memorial Fund; Rebekah Kohut; Charles McC. Reeve; and the Lewis Baker Warren Foundation. Correspondence in the Arthur Bell, Thacher M. Brown, Class of '97, and Nathan Smyth files relates to fund raising from Day's Yale class of 1897 as well as class dinners, reunions, and support for classmates or their families. Folders 158-164 concern similar efforts by Day in behalf of the St. Paul's School Alumni Fund. Files for the Eno Foundation for Highway Traffic Regulation, which was affiliated with Yale and of which Day was treasurer contain by-laws, financial statements, and correspondence with Charles Tilden, Yale professor of engineering mechanics. More general discussions of Yale finance are contained in correspondence with Charles Seymour, Lawrence Tighe, and Wiggin and Dana. At the end of the section are folders relating to Yale Alumni Publications, Inc. including minutes of meetings, financial statements, and correspondence with Yale Press editor Francis W. Bronson.

The General files are similar in subject matter to the Yale University files, but contain papers after Day's various retirements in the early 1940s. The files contain a mixture of the occasional exchanges with individuals, which are filed in the alphabet files, and selected individual or topical files. There are many personal exchanges with Charles U. Clark, and folder 211 contains letter from Day's brother Julian describing life in war-torn Britain. The Friends of Music at Yale file contains minutes for this organization filed by Day as its treasurer; the New York Herald Tribune file concerns the publication of Day's "Ode to Miss Perkins"; and the Alumni Magazine files. (folders 297-298) 'incorporate Day's drafts for class notes. A series of strongly worded exchanges between Day and Charles Parsons is included in folder 260; more cordial exchanges with classmate Chauncey Goodrich concern Yale and fellow classmates. The file for Howell Wright exemplifies Day's concern and interests in the collections of the Yale Library.

Series III is composed of records of the Acrotorque Company of Cleveland, Ohio. How Day came into possession of these records is unclear. The records consist of reports, printed brochures, design specifications and studies, performance tests and data, photographs, and schematic drawings for the company's products, mainly hydraulic transmissions. Many of the reports are labelled as being the property of company vice president Elias Orshansky, Jr., a non-graduate of the Yale class of 1933.

Series IV includes a small quantity of Day's more personal papers. Folders 390-391 contain two volumes of Day's poetry: A Nonsense Book by & for and Rhymes of the Times. The series also includes photographs and a scrapbook begun by Day while he was a Yale undergraduate. The scrapbook is composed of Day's student essays, songs, and published writings, correspondence, clippings, and memorabilia such as invitations, menus, and programs for Yale events such as plays, class dinners, and fraternity meetings.

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 George P. Day and others, ca. 1939-1982.


Arranged in four series: I. Letterpress Copybooks, 1908-1910. II. Correspondence, 1900-1960. III. Acrotorque Company Files, 1935-1947. IV. Personal Files, 1894-1956.

11 Linear Feet (27 boxes, 1 folio)
Related Names
Day, George Parmly, 1876-1959
Language of Materials