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Michigan State University

World War II Collections at MSU Archives & Historical Collections: MSU Departmental Records

MSU Departmental Records

Children, Youth, Families and Communities Records (UA 16.9)

  • 1 folder
  • A “Victory Guide for Officers of 4-H Clubs,” scrap metal collecting booklet, a pamphlet on wartime goals for 4-H clubs, and a leaflet about the 4-H Victory Project are included in this collection.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

College of Agriculture and Natural Resources Records (UA 15.1)

  • 1 folder
  • This collection includes a brochure about the Women’s Land Army, a program designed to teach women how to be farmers, in order to compensate for the lack of men in the work force during the war.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Department of Botany and Plant Pathology Records (UA 16.21)

  • 1 folder
  • Included in this collection are Victory Gardening bulletins, which were part of a series prepared by Michigan State College and the Victory Garden Section of the Michigan Office of Civilian Defense.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Department of Crop and Soil Sciences Records (UA 16.36)

Department of Geology Records (UA 16.53)

  • 8 cubic feet
  • The records consist of correspondence, field trip reports, inventories of the department, financial statements, experiment station notes, material relating to the Works Progress Administration, military college program, science fraternities, annual report materials. 
  • Ray Harrison, 1940- 1941.   Letters written from Camp Livingston, Louisiana describing his army training while part of the 121st Field Artillery Regiment (part of the 32nd Division); Return letters describing the happenings at MSC during this time.
  • James Dymond, 1941-1942.  Letters written from Dymond’s basic training at Corpus Christi, Texas and his pilot training at Lake City, Florida; Return letters describing the happenings at MSC during this time including the growth of photogrammetry (remote sensing).
  • Henry Faul, 1941-1942.  Faul was from Prague and had escaped German occupation. He had also worked at several on academic projects throughout Europe. He was interested in economic geology and mine development.  The head of the Geology Department helped him with his naturalization process.
  • William Davies 1941-1942.  Davies was an instrumental figure with the U.S. Army Map Research Department.  Significant biographical information is included.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Military Science Department/ROTC Records (UA 3.17.1)

  • 1.2 cubic feet
  • The collection consists of records relating to the MSU Military Science Department/ ROTC.  The class materials folder contains a receipt listing the uniform items issued to students, a syllabus for MS 102 chronologically listing the subjects covered in the class and chapters in the ROTC manual, and a list of basic concepts and their definitions.  There is also a folder of correspondence relating to the creation of a trophy for the top member on the MSU rifle team to be named after Julian W. Smith.  Smith was an education professor and member of the National Rifle Association Board of Directors.  There is one issue of the newsletter the “Cadet Bulletin” from 1959 and a folder of memos, press releases, and forms from 1942-1944.  Also included is an oversize certificate of cadet appointment.  The photographs in the collection consist of images from 1880-1959 and the 1980s of cadets, training, drills, rifle teams, military bands, World War II trainees, trucks, tanks, maneuvers, and training exercises, as well as social events and ceremonies.  The slides included labeled and unlabeled slides including slides of camps, maneuvers, vehicles, images for slide presentations and slides produced by the U.S. military.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Department of Zoology Records (UA 16.121)

  • 3.25 cubic feet
  • The Correspondence series, 1941-1946 is a series of letters written by World War II enlisted servicemen (students and staff members) to Miss Bernadette “Mac” (MacCarthy) Henderson, a secretary in the Zoology department. The series also includes greeting cards and postcards.  The next Correspondence series 1941-1947 contains additional correspondence between previous Zoology department students and Bernadette McCarthy. Bernadette, also known as “Mac”, served as the department secretary.  This group of letters was found later by the department and some correspondents could overlap between the previous series.  Some letters to Professor Stack are also included. The letters are from former students in their new jobs and placements in military camps during WWII. Mac sent out news bulletins to Zoology graduates until WWII censorship barred specific aspects of her newsletter in 1944, due to the revealing nature of its contents. Included within these letters are correspondence of new placements, life after MSC, birth announcements, postcards from travels, as well as greeting and holiday cards. Letters from soldiers in WWII discuss memories of college life, conditions at camps and bases, wartime experiences, and opinions on the war, censorship, and wartime propaganda.
  • Finding aid to the collection:   

Intercollegiate Athletics Records (UA 4.3)

  • 1 folder
  • This collection contains a list from 1945 of Michigan State athletic award winners who served in the U.S. military during World War II.  The list includes the athletes name, class, rank, military branch served in, and sport.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

Michigan 4-H Foundation Records (UA 10.7)

  • 2 folders and 1 oversize item
  • During World War II, 4-H Victory Clubs were formed and engaged in activities such as scrap metal collecting, gardening, and war stamp sales.  This collection includes Victory Club reports, regulations, lists of activities, and a poster advertising the Club.
  • Finding aid to the collection:  

MSU Extension Bulletins (Serial 00034)