Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves
Collection title: University of Maine War Records
Collection number: MS 544
Dates of collection: 1917-1945
Size of collection: 4 record cartons + 2 document boxes
Restrictions on access and use: Collection kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice is required for retrieval
The University of Maine saw approximately 1,000 students and alumni serve in World War I and 3,900 serve in World War II. Both wars had a strong effect on the university with decreased enrollment, disruption in classes and activities, additional students on campus for military training, and concern and anxiety for those serving overseas. The university presidents as well as other university administrators corresponded with those in the service and took a personal interest in their activities and well-being. The Alumni Association compiled information about current and former students in military service. The desire to honor those who had served and to memorialize those who had died led to various activities at the university after both wars.
After World War I, funds were raised from faculty, students, staff and alumni to erect the Memorial Gymnasium and Armory to honor the 41 Maine alumni who had been killed during the war. At the end of World War II, those who had died in that war were honored in a volume titled University of Maine, World War II: In Memoriam. The Alumni Association also gathered information about those who had been in the war by asking them to complete a questionnaire entitled “World War II Service Record,” gathering basic information about their branch of service, training, units in which they served, and dates of discharge.
Scope and Content Note
The collection is made up of records of the office of the university president and the alumni association that document the service of university students and alumni in World War I and World War II. Also included are materials that outline efforts to honor those students after the wars were over.
The records covering World War I contain correspondence of university president Robert J. Aley and registrar James A. Gannett with students serving in the military as well as correspondence of the alumni association and others working in 1923 to raise funds for the memorial building to be erected on the campus. Biographical information about each student killed in the war is also found in this section of the collection.
The section covering World War II contains similar correspondence from 1942-1945 of university president Arthur Hauck to and from students serving in the military in that war. Folders titled “Military” contain lists of those students who served in the war, honors accorded them, etc. Copies of University of Maine, World War II: In Memoriam are included in the collection as is the biographical information received from families and used to compile the book. Forms sent by the Alumni Association to all who served in the war are also found in the collection along with card files arranged by class year for all alumni who were in the war. A card file for those who were called or recalled to service in the Korean War is also included.
1-2 Correspondence, 1917-1918 of Pres. Aley, James Gannett, etc.
3-5 World War
6 Issues of The Maine Campus, Feb.-May, 1918
7 Students Army Training Corps certificate to the university, 1921
8 War Service Register: correspondence, 1919
9 Honor roll, World War I
10-14 Information about soldiers killed in World War I, A-W
15-18 Correspondence of Arthur Hauck, 1942-1945
2-1 Members of class of 1939 and 1942 who died in World War II
Correspondence, biographical information, etc., A-Y, used to prepare University of Maine, World War II: In Memoriam [one folder for each person included in the book]
University of Maine, World War II: In Memoriam
1 Memorial fund contributions list (original) compiled March 1945
2-11 University of Maine, World War II: In Memoriam: pages for book
1-8 General Alumni Association World War II service record forms, A-Z
Card file 1: UM Alumni in service World War II, 1897-1937
Card file 2: UM Alumni in service World War II, 1938-1942, A-E
Card file 3: UM Alumni in service World War II, 1942, F-Z-1944
Card file 4: UM Alumni in service World War II, 1945-1951
Card file 5: Maine men called or recalled to service in 1950 (includes classes of 1925-1959)
Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at firstname.lastname@example.org or (207) 581-1686 for further information.