Lilly Library Manuscript Collections

HARPER, F. MSS.

The Harper, F. mss., 1976-1991, consist of materials relating to personal accounts of American World War I veterans collected by Frank Roderick Harper (b. 1963) while a graduate student in history at Indiana University. The collection includes advertisements for World War I veterans to complete surveys Harper designed and initial contact letters and phone messages. Twenty-eight veterans completed surveys or provided other substantial material. The survey was comprised of over twenty broad and open-ended questions, such as "What was your impression of the French?" "Describe your training," and "What did you like/dislike most about your experiences?" These questions resulted in answers from "not much" to several typed pages of stories and copies of articles from local papers or veterans publications about individual respondents. These persons served in many different capacities and in different geographic areas of the conflict. The character of the responses varies widely and much of it is based to some degree upon information the respondents learned from sources outside of their personal experiences. Some surveys were completed with the assistance of caregivers, as most of the veterans were in their 90s at the time of the survey. Due to this variation, the collection is not internally cohesive. Frank Harper did not complete a dissertation on this topic because the response numbers were inadequate and by the late 1980s WWI veterans were dying off at a rapid rate.

The collection also includes some clippings and copies of The Torch, a World War I veterans newspaper.

The collection is organized into the following series: I. Advertisements; II. Correspondence and completed surveys; III. Miscellaneous correspondence related to the project; IV. The Torch and press clippings. An inventory is available.

Gift. 2005

INVENTORY

I. Advertisements

  • Box 1
    • folder 1: Flyers and contact lists

II. Correspondence and surveys

  • Arranged alphabetically by name of veteran
    • Box 1
      • folder 2: Althaus, William A., 1896-1991
      • folder 3: Breitenbach, Louis Philip, 1897-1994
      • folder 4: Burke, Elton A., 1896-1993
      • folder 5: Caldwell, Herbert C., 1897-1993, chaplain
      • folder 6: Campbell, Hector Clyde, 1900-1993
      • folder 7: Carr, Ruth Bennett, 1891-1994, nurse
      • folder 8: Cusack, Thomas Patrick, 1894-1997
      • folder 9: Donze, Clarence Edward, 1896-1994
      • folder 10: Eddy, Harold Sherer, 1899-1994
      • folder 11: Gerlach, Frances Joseph,1894-1994
      • folder 12: Hammer, Naaman J., 1898-1994
      • folder 13: Harrison, Carl John, 1893-1994
      • folder 14: Hopkins, William Lloyd, 1896-1990
      • folder 15: Huffman, Denzil Earl, 1902-1998
      • folder 16: Leaver, Harry, 1898-1994
      • folder 17: Maxwell, Austin F., 1897-1991
      • folder 18: Plew, AudeLearon, 1894-1991, barber
      • folder 19: Plunkett, Sampson Oliver, 1895-1993
      • folder 20: Pyle, Albert J., 1896-1990, engineer
      • folder 21: Reed, Alonzo Elmer, 1899-1992
      • folder 22: Roberts, Percy Raymond, 1895-1989
      • folder 23: Rowe, Wallace Ware, 1895-
      • folder 24: Schneider, George C., 1901-1991
      • folder 25: Seely, Malcolm, 1898-1991
      • folder 26: Shepp, William Lee, 1897-1993
      • folder 27: Sullivan, Dennis, 1897-1996
      • folder 28: Waite, Sheridan C., 1895-1902, dentist
      • folder 29: West, Ernest Patrick, 1896-2000

    III. Miscellaneous correspondence

    • Box 2
      • folder 1: 1989-1991. Arranged chronologically. Includes:
        • Bullock, Elton A., 1895-1994
        • Colburn, Cleo, 1895-1994
        • Collins, Donald W., 1900-1992
        • Hooten, Orval M., 1895-1994
        • Krogstad, Clarence, 1899-1997
        • Newell, Clayton R., 1942- , army officer

    IV. The Torch and press clippings

    • Box 2
      • folder 2: The Torch. vol. 21, #5 1976); vol. 36, #1, 6-10 (1989); miscellaneous clippings
      • folder 3: The Torch. vol. 37, #1 (1989); vol. 38 #2-11 (1990)

    Collection size: 95 items

    For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.