Early and Middle 20th Century war materials

[Test firing the nose guns]

Although our earliest war related materials extend to a certificate documenting the return of land held by Vardaman Marler, a Private in the South Carolina Militia under the command of Captain Johnson during the War of 1812 through the Ellis Clark Soper collection’s Mexican-American War lithographs from the 1840s, we can skip ahead to the Wallace Bruner Heller military ephemera, which tells the story of an American family’s life in the Philippines from the Spanish-American War through the middle of the 20th century.

There are a number of connections between the Spanish American War and our collections, including material relating to Milo Hendrix, one of the first graduates of Henry Kendall College (the organization that became TU), to the United Spanish War Veterans (and Auxiliaries) correspondence to and from Alice Robertson and buttons and pins. In the Soper Collection, there is GAR memorabilia from this period.

Bypassing the Great War, which will be discussed later, our next array of collections is from the Second World War starting with some basic items such as former TU faculty member Dr. Albert P. Blair’s military files and an extensive library of WWII related texts. Also in the collections are the Bob McCormack photographic archive, physician Joseph A. Harter’s scrapbook; a digital collection of 31 letters from the Robert Hubert Dixon letters; various military unit photos, including a large variety of an unknown 75th Infantry Division soldier; Joshua R. Abell WWII letters; Patti Johnson WWII memoir; F.R. First WWII ephemera, illustrations of bomber landing fields; Bombs & Comps bomb description and maintenance manual; James Lucas militaria; ATC process clearance certificate belonging to John Dos Passos, rationing books, stamps, and certificates; sheet music; Constance Holme letters commenting on the war.

Recent acquisitions include the Robert Pickering gift of WWII maps – Porlaka? And a Japanese map of the Philippines indicating the US invasion) – related to this is a large collection of WWII photos from the same donor indicating the invasion of Leyte and the occupation of Manila. Also recently received into the collection is the George Akira Doi archive – Doi was a Nisei, a first generation Japanese-American who enlisted before Pearl Harbor and served in the 100th Division in Europe while his family was interred in the Granada and Poston relocation camps. Doi is also Olympic skater Kristi Yamaguchi’s grandfather.

Representing the Korean Conflict is the Walter Neikamp library. The Cold War is sparsely covered at this time, but there is an interesting historical Cold War era Air Force cloth map of the Bay of Bothnia and the White Sea, showing much of the mainland Soviet Union. Such maps were printed to allow pilots shot down to navigate their way back to safety.

About Marc Carlson

The Librarian of Special Collections and University Archives, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa since November 2005.He holds a Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology from Oklahoma State University. He has worked in McFarlin Library since 1986.
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