Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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
Donald Gray Brownlow (1924-2006) was an American author, educator, and World War II veteran. He was born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, graduated from Tredyffrin-Easttown High School, and attended the University of Pennsylvania for a year before enlisting in the Army in World War II. His intelligence detachment landed on Utah Beach during the D-Day invasion and later participated in the Battle of the Bulge, where he was briefly captured by the enemy. He received a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star for his service, as well as the Croix de Guerre from the French government.
After his discharge, he returned to Penn to earn a bachelor's degree and master's degree in History. He joined the Haverford School as a history teacher in 1951, where he remained until his death. In summers he often took the students on tours of Europe, where they met with notable military and cultural figures. He also wrote ten books on military history, including The Accused: the ordeal of Rear Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, U.S.N. (1968), which investigated the culpability of various U.S. Navy personnel in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and Checkmate at Ruweisat: Auchinleck's Finest Hour (1977), a book about the British North African campaign during World War II.
Brownlow was married three times, to Louise Brownlow, Marian Brownlow, and Sandy Dobbs Brownlow. He died in 2006 of heart failure in his home in Elverson, Pennsylvania.
This collection contains material related to Brownlow's published and unpublished writings, especially his historical work on World War II. It includes three series: "Correspondence"; "Research material for writing"; and "Audio recordings." The correspondence consists primarily of letters sent to Brownlow and his then-wife Marian from notable military figures and military historians; some of these relationships lasted for decades, becoming personal friendships, though the correspondence itself is not personally revealing. Brownlow was also a noted autograph seeker, and some of the more notable correspondents appear only in this context.
"Research material for writing" contains scrapbooks which Brownlow created when working on particular manuscripts, as well as notes he received on his drafts from other WWII historians and retired military officers. Some of this material is related to his most well-known works, The Accused: the ordeal of Rear Admiral Husband Edward Kimmel, U.S.N. (1968), in which he investigated the culpability of U.S. Navy leadership in the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and Checkmate at Ruweisat: Auchinleck's Finest Hour (1977), which concerned the British North African campaign during World War II.
The audio recordings consist of interviews with military and cultural figures: some, like Field Marshal Claude Auchinleck and Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel, were subjects of his books, while others were simply notable figures in the history of World War II, or cultural figures in which Brownlow had an interest. These interviews have the highest research value of any part of the collection, as these first-person recollections from important wartime figures are of greater scholarly interest than Brownlow's own work; however, access to original audio/visual materials and computer files is restricted--see "Conditions Governing Access" note.
Gifts of Donald Grey Brownlow, 1993; 1980; 2003
- University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
- Finding Aid Author
- Sam Allingham
- Finding Aid Date
- 2021 November 12
- Access Restrictions
This bulk of this collection is open for research use; however, original audiovisual material contained in Series III is restricted. Access to original audio/visual materials and computer files is restricted. The Kislak Center will provide access to the information on these materials from duplicate master files. If the original does not already have a copy, it will be sent to an outside vendor for copying. Patrons are financially responsible for the cost. The turnaround time from request to delivery of digital items is about two weeks for up to five items and three to seven weeks for more than five items. Please contact Reprographic Services (firstname.lastname@example.org) for cost estimates and ordering. Once digital items are received, researchers will have access to the files on a dedicated computer in the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center. Researchers should be aware of specifics of copyright law and act accordingly.
- Use Restrictions
Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.