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Yale in World War II collection

Call Number: MS 1212

Scope and Contents

Yale in World War II brings together some of the surviving records and memorabilia of the activities on the Yale campus between 1939 and 1946. Other sources for records of this period include the Yale University Archives, the extensive research material (9 linear feet) collected by Eugene H. Kone for a projected book on Yale in World War II, and the records of individual departments and institutes connected with the university. This collection consists of printed matter, reports, correspondence, memoranda, radio scripts, scrapbooks and clippings concerning individuals and groups on the campus and overseas during World War II. Also included is a substantial amount of material on post-war planning. The papers consist of three series: I. Activities of Yale University, II. War Activities, III. Correspondence.

Series I., ACTIVITIES OF YALE UNIVERSITY, is divided into three sections: By Official Unit, By Topic, and Scrapbooks.

By Official Unit consists of the papers of official bodies of the university relating to their activities during the war. Of particular interest is a large amount of material issued between 1940 and 1942 by the Committee on Preparation for War Service and reports issued by the Institute of Human Relations and the Institute of International Studies during 1943 and 1944. A substantial correspondence between Bernhard Knollenberg, Yale University Librarian, and Herbert Hoover in 1940 concerning Hoover's plan to feed the population of the invaded countries in Europe is filed under "Yale University. Library." A small amount of material on Yale's Committee for Receiving Oxford and Cambridge Children is also included in the section.

By Topic covers unofficial activities on the Yale campus and includes such areas as conscientious objectors, air raid precautions and relief organizations. Under the heading "Post-War Planning" are a number of reports written by the Yale University Post-War Planning Committee and various individuals between 1942 and 1945. Speakers at Yale, the texts of whose speeches are found here, include Earl Browder, secretary of the Communist Party of the United States, speaking under the auspices of the Yale Peace Council, Field Marshall John Dill of Great Britain (a reply by George C. Marshall is included), Charles A. Lindbergh, speaking under the auspices of the America First Committee, Henry R. Luce and Erika Mann. Also included in this section are memorabilia such as war ration books, savings bond literature and military passes required to enter military areas on the Old Campus.

Scrapbooks consists of three volumes of newspaper clippings from 1944 and 1945 which document achievements of Yale students and faculty, activities on the campus, and Yale's participation in the war.

Series II., WAR ACTIVITIES, is divided into three sections: On Campus, Abroad, and Articles, Reports, Clippings and Writings by Yale Men.

On Campus includes printed matter, reports and correspondence relating to the training programs on the Yale campus conducted by the various branches of the United States armed forces. The work of the Army Specialized Training Program and the Navy College Training Program, known as V-12, is documented through memoranda, curricula, course schedules and other printed matter.

Abroad consists of programs for various social functions of Yale men in the armed forces abroad.

Articles, Reports, Clippings and Writings by Yale Mendocuments the experiences of Yale men serving in the armed services.

Series III., CORRESPONDENCE, is made up of letters from former Yale students to Yale officials describing their experiences at military bases in the United States and while serving abroad. The Yale officials are James G. Leyburn, Acting Chairman, Dept. of Sociology, Carl A. Lohmann, Secretary of the University, Russell G. Pruden, Curator, Yale Collection of War Literature, Carl F. Schreiber, Chairman, Dept. of Germanic Languages, and Chauncey B. Tinker, Professor of English Literature. Miscellaneous correspondence is filed at the end of the series.


  • 1938-1946

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is 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

The collection was assembled from material collected from Yale Archives, research materials of Eugene H. Kone, and records of individual departments and institutes connected with Yale University. Gift of the New Haven Colony Historical Society, 2003.


Arranged in three series and one addition: I. Activities of Yale University. II. War Activities. III. Correspondence.


7.5 Linear Feet (14 boxes)

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


The collection consists of printed matter, reports, correspondence, memoranda, radio scripts, memorabilia, scrapbooks and clippings documenting some of the activities at Yale University and of the individual colleges during World War II. Letters from Yale men in the services, both in the United States and abroad, to officials of the university make up a substantial part of the collection. Also included are correspondence and financial documents of the "Yale Library Project," a military intelligence operation secretly funded by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services which used Joseph T. Curtiss, a professor of English at Yale, as its agent.

Guide to the Yale in World War II Collection
Under Revision
compiled by Miriam Levi and staff of Manuscripts and Archives
April 1980
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Yale University Library
P.O. Box 208240
New Haven CT 06520-8240 US
(203) 432-1735
(203) 432-7441 (Fax)


Sterling Memorial Library
Room 147
120 High Street
New Haven, CT 06511

Opening Hours