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Harry William Cofrances papers

Call Number: MS 818

Scope and Contents

The Harry W. Cofrances Papers are primarily the record of a New Haven native, born of Italian immigrant parents, who succeeded in putting himself through Yale College and Yale Law School. Harry Cofrances' correspondence and memorabilia date primarily from the 1920s. The papers contain nothing concerning Cofrances' later work as a stock analyst and broker.

Most of the correspondence relates to Cofrances' abortive efforts, in 1926, to win a scholarship from the Italy America Society to study in Rome. The correspondence includes letters of recommendation from Dean Frederick Jones, A. G. Keller, and William Lyon Phelps. Later correspondence includes two brief notes from Rudy Vallee.

The collection also contains a few items relative to Cofrances' military service in World War II. He was stationed in California, where he kept a brief diary. Most of the entries concern the weather, letters received and sent, concerts attended, and movies seen.

The papers were given to Manuscripts and Archives by Cofrances' sister, Mrs. Francis P. Guida, shortly after his death in 1969. Her gift included a linear foot of Cofrances' student papers, notes, exams, syllabi, and textbooks. This material is no included intheYale Archives in YRG 47. A copy of the Yale Italian Club Constitution has been transferred to YRG 40.


  • 1913-1969


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. Francis P. Guida, 1969.


1.25 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Catalog Record

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

Persistent URL


Correspondence, diary and memorabilia. Most of the correspondence relates to Cofrances' efforts in 1926 to win a scholarship offered by the Italy America Society. Also in the correspondence are two notes from Rudy Vallée. His army service in San Francisco (1942-1945) is documented by a diary and memorabilia.

Biographical / Historical

Cofrances, who received his LL.B. at Yale in 1929, returned to the Law School in 1948 to take some courses in federal taxation. He was admitted to practice in Connecticut in July, 1929, and before the U. S. District Court in the District of Connecticut in 1949. He was in the law office of Alling, Webb & Morehouse in New Haven during 1929 and then became connected with the Security Insurance Company of New Haven in the administrative, claims, and financial end. He remained with them until 1941 and the following year was with Chas. W. Scranton & Company, an investment banking firm in New Haven.

In November, 1942, Cofrances was inducted into the Army as a private. After a brief stay at Fort Devens he was assigned to the San Francisco Port of Embarkation and subsequently was at Fort Mason, where his functions were in connection with the Transportation Corps and the Logistics and Statistics Section of the Control Division. He ended up as port historian, preparing an historical narrative of port activities. At the time of his separation from service in July, 1945, he ranked as staff sargeant.

During 1948-49 he was again with Chas. W. Scranton & Company and since March, 1949, he has been associated with Barnes, Bodell & Goodwin, Inc. He also does some independent work in law, taxation, etc. He belongs to the New Haven County and Connecticut Bar associations and the Amity Club of New Haven. He is currently serving as secretary of the latter and as chairman of its scholarship committee, which to date has awarded scholarships to three Yale Seniors living in the greater New Haven area. Cofrances has been active in the work of the New Haven Community Chest.

(from: After Twenty-Five Years, Classes of 1926-1926S, pp. 216-217)
Guide to the Harry W. Cofrances Papers
Under Revision
compiled by Diane Kaplan
May 1982
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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