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World War II Collection


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

World War II, or the Second World War was a global military conflict which involved a majority of the world's nations, including all of the great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. The war involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history. The start of the war is generally held to be September 1, 1939, with the German invasion of Poland and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by most of the countries in the British Empire and by France, and ending in 1945 in a victory for the Allies.

Consists of selected correspondence, manuscripts, and other material related to World War II. There are six items (1940-1942) from German General Erwin Rommel's correspondence file, including letters to Rommel from the chief adjutant in Berlin, a letter from Adolf Hitler, a letter from the Supreme Commander of the Fourth Army, and a certificate to Rommel from the Prussian Mining Academy, dated June 23, 1942. There is a group of papers and press releases related to "Operation Crossroads" and the Atom Bomb Tests at Bikini Lagoon on July 25, 1946. Thre is also material related to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), some labeled "Restricted," and its director William J. Donovan; there are communiqués from Donovan to the members of his group, directives, executive orders, and remarks at the farewell gathering of the OSS employees. Also included are photographs of Donovan, a map of Paris, and a printed booklet titled "Overseas Orders," the handbook for OSS Armed Forces personnel going overseas.

The collection was formed as a result of a departmental practice of combining into one collection manuscript material of various accessions relating to a particular author.

Material of Erwin Rommel: Gift of Goerge A. Vondermhll in 1947.

Material related to the Atomic Bomb: Gift of Allen Hartley on June 26, 1975.

Material of William J. Donovan and the OSS: Gift of Mrs. John Bennett on August 24, 1926.

Folder inventory added by Nicholas Williams '2015 in 2012.

No appraisal information is available.

Manuscripts Division
Finding Aid Date
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Collection Inventory

Typed Manuscripts About the First Atomic Bomb Test, undated. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

3 Photographs of Donovan with Truman, 8 Letters Relating to the Termination of OSS, and "Release" from the Office of Strategic Services, 1945-1946. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Office of Strategic Services Handbook and Map of Paris, 1944. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Correspondence with Erwin Rommel, 1940-1942. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

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