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Ernest Gordon Papers

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Held at: Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Manuscripts Division. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Gordon, Ernest, 1916-2002

Ernest Gordon was a former Presbyterian dean of the chapel at Princeton University. During World War II, he was a Japanese prisoner of war and helped build the infamous "Bridge Over the River Kwai."

The collection consists of manuscripts of Gordon's writings and related correspondence: 1) the original autograph and typed manuscripts, galley proofs, and photographs of Through the Valley of the Kwai (1962), an account of Gordon's personal experiences during three-and-a-half years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Thailand during World War II and how those experiences led him to a vocation in the ministry; 2) typescripts of Meet Me at the Door (1969), based on Gordon's early years counseling students during his chaplaincy at Princeton; 3) unprocessed manuscripts of other works, including "Odyssey by the River Kwai" and "Nudged by Love," and correspondence with publishers and from readers/fans of Gordon's work; 4) Gordon's sermons, from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Unprocessed: Boxes 1-4 contain literary works and related correspondence; Boxes 5-7 contain miscellaneous sermons; Box 8 contains chronological sermons (1956-1962).

Publications: Through the Valley of the Kwai (New York: Harper, 1962), Meet Me at the Door (New York: Harper & Row, 1969)

Gift of the author. Unprocessed manuscripts and correspondence with publishers, along with sermons are a gift of the Princeton University Chapel. More sermons transferred from Mudd Library in 2010. "Solan" manuscript is a gift of the Chapel. AM 18485, 20475, 2009-64, 2010-3, 2011-7, 2012-8.

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager '2015 in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Publisher
Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
2009
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Collection Inventory

"Through the Valley of the Kwai" Manuscript, undated. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

"Through the Valley of the Kwai" Typescript, undated. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

"Through the Valley of the Kwai" Galley Proof with Corrections, undated. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

"Through the Valley of the Kwai" Miscellaneous, 1962 January 26. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Through the Valley of the Kwai" Photographs, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Through the Valley of the Kwai" Typescript Rough Draft, 1960 June. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Typescript-Author's Notes Pages 1-100, 1969. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Typescript-Author's Notes Pages 101-200, 1969. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Typescript-Author's Notes Pages 201-237, 1969. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Second Typescript Chapters I, II, III, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Second Typescript Chapters IV, V, VI, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Second Typescript Chapters VII and VIII, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Inserts Chapters IV and VI, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Final Typescript Chapters I, II, and III, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Final Typescript Chapters IV, V, and VI, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Meet Me at the Door" Final Typescript Chapters VII and VIII, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Solan" Autograph Manuscript pp. 1-209, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"A Worm's Eye View of the End of World War II", 1978 February-March. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Through the Valley of the Kwai", 1964-1979. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

"Through the Valley of the Kwai" (New File), 1977-1980. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Nudged by Love" Typescript, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Odyssey by the River Kwai" Bound Typescript with Corrections and Other Material, 1961-1967. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Harper and Brothers, 1962-1971. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Miscellaneous Clippings-"Through Kwai"-E.G., 1956-1965. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Publications-River Kwai Letters, 1960-1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Through the Valley of the Kwai", 1962-1969. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Collins, 1962-1969. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Miracle on River Kwai, 1962-1963. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Through the Valley of the Kwai" Letters of Comment, 1959-1968. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

"Through the Valley of the Kwai", 1962-1969. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Islands Apart", undated. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

"Through the Valley of the Kwai" Letters from Readers and Friends, 1961-1964. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

"Nudged by Love" Original Typescript, undated. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

"Nudged by Love" Autograph Manuscript, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Services of Commemoration and Remembrance, 1959-1970. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The New Morality, The Goodness of Man, A New Campus Morality, Sermon based on John 15:14 "You are my friends, if you do what I command you.", 1958-1966. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Palm Sunday, The Freedom of Obedience, The Art of Seeing, Justification by Faith, The Grace of Endurance, The Frustration of the City, 1955-1963. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Not New Morality but New Attitude, Morality in Men's Colleges, The University as a Place of Revolution, Non-Conformity, 1955-1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Morality, Responsibility, and Leadership in Young Americans, Sex and Moral Integrity/The Sex Revolution and the Case for Chastity, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Community of Faith and Action, The Christian Gentleman, The University as a Place of Hope, The Value of Man, 1959-1969. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Uniqueness of the X. Community, The Revolution and the University, The Marks of the Church, The Trial, Truth's Witness, 1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Break Through for Man, The Two Kingdoms, Sermons on Seventh Beatitude, Rev. 3:8, Matthew 13:44, Ps. 137:6, Mark 8:27-38, 1964-1969. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Dare We Think of a Future?, Justice for the Unjust, Politics, The Presbyterian Tradition, The Kirk and the Scottish People: It was the least I could do, 1959 April 26. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Christ or Chaos?, Missing Life, Thanksgiving, The Tradition We Share, United Nation Sunday, The Backward Look, 1955-1964. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Where are the Christians?, Integrity in Everyday Existence, The Church's Integrity, Integrity of Though and Action, I am the Life the Great Affirmation, 1974-1975. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Hebrews 11:37, Psalm 137:6, Matthew 6:34, Luke 4:18, Exodus 20:1, Nehemiah 6:3, Luke 19:40, John 8:32, Mark 9:24, 1956-1965. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Colossians 1:17, Romans 5:2-5, John 3, Mark 13:28-32, John 1:4, Hebrews 12:22, Genesis 3:8, John 5:39, Mark 2:27, Luke 9:23, 1974-1975. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Matt. 15:10-14, Ps. 25:16, John 15:15, John 9, Job 42:5, Isaiah 62:10-12, Genesis 48:16, Romans 8:29, 1956-1975. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

A Christian Life Style, The Work of Liberation, On the Other Hand the non-affirmative..., Chester J. La Roche, New York Alumni Association Service, 1956-1975. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

John Witherspoon Sermon, Escape to Victory, The Tradition We Share, The Using of Our Liberty, The Mind of Christ, The Choice of the Crowd, 1957-1961. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Cultural Cousins, Staley Lecture: Caring, What the Hell is the Church Doing Here?, A Bent with the Devil, A Plea for Light, A Warrant for Victory, 1973-1977. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Beatitudes 2-8, 1973-1974. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Mark 10:45, Romans 8:12-14, Matthew 16:24, Luke 12:56, I Corinthians:1-18, Joel 2:13, Matthew 27:13-14, John 3:16, 1956-1967. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on MH 5:1, Matt 5:13, Mark 16:6, Luke 24:11, 1973-1975. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled/Unidentified Sermons, 1961-1975. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

Missing Pages, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Assorted Newspaper Clippings, Poems, Letter from John Steinbeck to Adlai Stevenson, 1959-1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"The Future Belongs to Freedom", "Eye Hath Not Seen", "The Protestant Spirit", Letter from T.M. Taylor to Gordon, "The Heritage of the Reformation", 1960 December 20. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"An Eschatological Manifesto", "Jesus Christ the Redeemer", "The Significance of the Reformation in the History of Christendom", 1960 November 2. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"Providence Predestination", "This is God's World", Untitled Sermon based on Romans 8:29, The Beginning of Knowledge, 1955-1957. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermon based on II Timothy 4:3-4, Mark 9:24, Good Friday Service Materials, "The Doctrine of the Trinity", 1956-1973. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermon based on John 3:8, MH. 13:55, Revelation 19:6, Deuteronomy 5:8-10, Acts 17:20, John 5:4, 1956-1958. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"The Lord Our God Reineth", "Faith and the New Fatalism", "Heroic Faith", Unidentified Sermon, 1957-1960. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Bound Volume of Gordon Sermons, 1971-1973. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Trust, Heroic Faith, A Matter of Faith, Yes, I Believe, The Life of Faith, The Fellowship of Faith, The Xn. Faith Makes Sense, 1960-1961. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Gift, Language of Humanity, The Action, The Problem of Religious Experience, Freedom, Freedom and Decision, The Freedom of Obedience, 1964-1971. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Art of Manhood, Where Are You Going?, Our Witness to Reconciliation, The New Commandment of the New Community, Reconciliation with the Failure, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Sermons Labelled I-VIII, 1967-1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Last Generation, God and History, The End, What Did You Come to See?, The Dangers of a Liberal Education, The Winter of Our Discontent, 1959-1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Faith Has Its Reasons, I am the Way, What Does It Mean to be a Christian, Jesus, the Christ, Plain "Yes" or "No" is All You Need to Say, 1963 March-October. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Conflict of Ways, Christianity Works, Jesus, the Liberation, The Mind of Christ, The Greatest Power, David's Sermon, 1960-1966. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

In the Image of the Creator, Success in Work, Vocation for Life, Commencement Addresses, The Struggle for Life, The Fellowship of Grace, 1958-1964. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Reconciliation and Renewal, Reconciliation with the Future, The Relevance of the Liturgy, The Christian in the World, God's Workmates, 1953-1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Toleration, On with the Business, The Reconcialing Fellowship, Escape to Victory, What's In It for Me?, Why Do I Hope?, The World is hellish without that Hope, The Neighborhood of God, 1961-1966. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Christmas Sermons, 1951-1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Nehemiah 6:3, Hebrews 11:37, John 4:23-24, II Cor. 5:21, I Kings 22:7-8, John 16:33, Jeremiah 12:5, MH. 9:13, 1959-1965. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Hebrews 12:142, Acts 1:9, John 17:16-18, Matt. 6:22, Matt. 28:18-20, John 20:29, Ps. 14 and 53, John 5:22, I Cor. 8:12, I Chronicles 17:4-5, 1956-1966. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Gen. 3:9, II Tim. 2:15, Isaiah 57:15, Luke 5:11, Romans 12:2, John 4:18-19, Matt. 13:55, Gal. 5:1, 1957-1967. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Deyt. 5:6-7, Luke 11:9, II Corinthians 3:17, Matt. 25:40, Job 9:32, John 1:1, Luke 1:68, Romans 7:1, Ps. 121, 1956-1972. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Rev. 19:6, Deut. 5:6-7, Deut. 6:5, Heb. 11:37, Heb. 11:1, 1964 October 11. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled/Unidentified Gordon Sermons, 1956-1963. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Missing/Loose Pages, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

"On the Other Side of Eden" Collection of Sermons Typescript, 1957-1959. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Newspaper Clippings, Sermons and Articles by Other People besides Gordon, "Worship and Thanksgiving, Newsletters, Order of Worship, 1954-1969. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Faith III, The Way of Faith, The More Excellent Way, The Radical Nature of the Christian Faith, The Way of Holiness, The Way of Tradition, 1970-1971. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Blasphemy, There is a Way, The Better Way, The Way of Worship, Untitled Sermon based on John 1:14, The New Humanity, Untitled Sermon, 1970-1971. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

What's New About Jesus, 2 Untitled Sermons, Who's Trapped?, A Time to Build, Untitled Sermon based on Luke 19:41-48, How Should We Live, 1969 September-November. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The Meaning of Life, I Cor. 4:10, Matt. 4:4, 1970 March 8. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Yes, I Believe, Humanity and the Christian Hope, The Last Generation, The Christian Understanding of History, New Wine, The Making of a Man: Man Come to Judgment, 1960-1961. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Who is Worthy of Our Tribute?, The Broken Bread, Faith and Thanksgiving, Disciple and Teacher, Do this, in remembrance if me, Good Wine, 1960-1963. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Wasted Wine, What is in it for me?, The Burden of Guilt, Knowledge of Reality or The Increase of Mystery, Memory, The Pentagon, 1959-1964. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Time for Decision, The Christian in the World, Missing Men, The Absence and the Perseverance of God, Rebels for Righteousness, 1965 February 7. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

The New Campus Morality, The World Beyond Today, Faith and the Confusion of Cultures, Journey to Jerusalem, Toleration, 1961-1972. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on John 20:28, Matt. 7:28-29, John 9:39, John 14:21, II Tim. 1:1, Matt. 9:25, John 15:14, John 6:48, John 14:25-26, 1955-1963. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Luke 9:51, Luke 12:19, John 7, Matt. 4:4, Psalm 8:4, John 5:17, John 2:24-25, Gen. 3:9, I Cor. 8:12, 1956-1966. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Luke 23:34, Joel 2:13, Romans 5:8, Luke 9:51, John 5:16, Isaiah 49:18-23 and Matt. 22:15-22, Isaiah 50:2, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on I Cor.:13, John 14:26, John 3:8, Luke 11:2, Romans 12:2, Romans 9:7-9, John 3:16, Deut. 5:8-10, Acts 2:11, 1956-1967. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on John 20:20, John 14:24, II Tim. 1:1, 1972 April 23. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled/Unidentified Gordon Sermons, 1957-1966. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

First Sunday in Lent Order of Worship, 1954 March 8. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

I am the Resurrection, Grandeur for Misery, Easter is the Christian Affirmation of Life, The () Act of God, The Resurrection and the Future, 1958-1968. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

To let the broken victims go free, Living Now, News of Reality, Community, The People of God, The Cross and the Campus, Faith and Motives, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

American Youth Culture, Spiritual Aristocracy, Christian Commitment, 1960-1971. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Acts II, John 20:20, John 11:25-26, I Corinthians 15:14, John 20:28-29, John 10:10, Gen. 1:27, Matt. 7:28-29, 1956-1972. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Luke 15:17, Luke 15:25, Luke 15:31, Luke 5:27-32, I Cor. 15:53, Luke 7:36-50, Luke 19:28, Ps. 2:4, Matt. 25:40, 1967-1973. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on Luke 22:19, John 1:4, John 20:20, John 20:28-29, Mark 16:6, John 6:11, Luke 4:17-19, Gal. 6:15, Matt. 4:1, Matt. 16:18-19, 1957-1973. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermons based on John 17:16-18, Matt. 16:18-19, I Cor. 13, Hymn 152, II Cor. 6:4, I Cor. 1:18, Joel 2:13, Ps. 97:2, Luke 12:56, Luke 23:44-45, Matt. 21:12-13, 1957-1964. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled/Unidentified Gordon Sermons, 1956-1972. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

"Seven Stanzas at Easter" by John Updike, Clipping from Christian Newsletter, Davidson College Order of Worship, Suggestions for New Hymns, Chicago Sunday Evening Club Order of Service, 1957-1961. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Untitled Sermon based on Deut. 6:5, John 1:1, 5:22, 11:25-26, 13-14, 15:14, 20:20, Luke 1:68, 4:18, 9:51, 22:19, Mark 9:24, Matt. 13:55, 21:12-13, Ps. 121, II Tim. 4:3-4, Pre-Election Sermon, 1956-1957. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Sermons (Copies), 1957-1958. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Sermons (Copies), 1958-1959. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Sermons, 1959-1962. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

Print, Suggest