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UAI 20.946.5

Dow, Sterling, 1903-1995. Records of Harvard University War Archivist Sterling Dow, 1945-1947 : an inventory

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Descriptive Summary

Call No.: UAI 20.946.5
Repository: Harvard University Archives
Creator: Dow, Sterling, 1903-1995.
Title: Records of Harvard University War Archivist Sterling Dow, 1945-1947
Date(s): 1945-1947
Quantity: 1.92 cubic feet (6 document boxes)
Abstract: Sterling Dow (1906-1995) was the John E. Hudson Professor of Archaeology at Harvard University, specializing in Greek inscription and the history of Greece for more than thirty years. During World War II (December 1944) Dow was appointed Harvard University War Archivist and undertook the task of gathering a record of participation from about eighty Harvard laboratories concerning their efforts during the war. The records in this collection (correspondence, notes, reports, news clippings, meeting minutes, magazine articles, and interviews) document Dow's efforts in gathering data related to Harvard University's participation in World War II. In addition, the collection reveals the war research performed by Harvard faculty during World War II and some of the changes made to the academic program at Harvard during the war.

Acquisition information:

The documents in this collection are University records and were acquired in the course of University business.

Processing Information:

This inventory was created in July 2014 by Dominic P. Grandinetti from a cursory inspection of the material and a variety of information sources. Titles were devised by the archivist. The records (UAI 20.946.5 and UAI 20.946.6) were re-processed as the Records of Harvard University War Archivist Sterling Dow, 1945-1947 and assigned the call number UAI 20.946.5. Call number UAI 20.946.6 (Records of War Archivist, Sterling Dow, 1946-1947) was eliminated.

Researcher Access:

Open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Dow, Sterling, 1903-1995. Records of Harvard University War Archivist Sterling Dow, 1945-1947. UAI 20.946.5, Harvard University Archives.

Historical note

Sterling Dow (1906-1995) was the John E. Hudson Professor of Archaeology at Harvard University, specializing in Greek inscription and the history of Greece for more than thirty years. In December 1944, during World War II, Dean of the Harvard Faculty Paul Buck and Harvard President James B. Conant asked Dow to gather records to document Harvard's participation in the war effort. Appointed Harvard University War Archivist, Dow undertook the task of gathering a record of participation from about eighty Harvard laboratories (Radio Research Laboratory, the Underwater Sound Laboratory, the Fatigue Laboratory, the Harvard Neurological Unit, the Electro-Acoustic Laboratory, etc.) concerning their efforts during the war. Dow's principal aim was to gather data for a future history of Harvard during World War II. Performing most of the work himself, Dow visited Harvard's scientific laboratories in Cambridge, at the Harvard Medical School, at the Harvard School of Public Health, and at the Harvard Business School, reviewing war related projects, taking notes, and interviewing faculty and staff.

References

Arrangement

The folders in boxes 2 through 6 were arranged primarily in alphabetical order by Sterling Dow.

Scope and Contents

The records in this collection (correspondence, notes, reports, news clippings, meeting minutes, magazine articles, and interviews) document Harvard War Archivist Sterling Dow's efforts in gathering data related to Harvard University's participation in World War II. The collection also reveals the war research performed by Harvard faculty in about eighty laboratories including the Radio Research Laboratory, the Underwater Sound Laboratory, the Fatigue Laboratory, the Harvard Neurological Unit, and the Electro-Acoustic Laboratory, many under contract to the Office of Scientific Research and Development. Among the faculty war research discussed in this collection are studies of the erosion metal in gun barrels (Charles H. Berry), the protection of poultry from diseases (Carl A. Brandly), the deformation of steel under high pressure (Percy W. Bridgman), and the development of the Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator (Howard H. Aiken). There are several Harvard Medical School war research projects addressed in this collection including the immunology of mumps (John F. Enders), the utilization of sound as a military weapon (Hallowell Davis), the influence of metabolism on brain functions (William G. Lennox), and the adverse effects of traumatic shock (Jacob Fine). Changes that occurred at Harvard during World War II are also documented in this collection including the alteration of admission policy, the extension of the school year, the reorganization of educational programs, the introduction of a compulsory program of physical exercise, and the expansion of student housing. Additionally, reflections on conscientious objectors at Harvard, the war on Japan, the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the level of Nazi support at Harvard before World War II, and air raid protection for Harvard staff and University treasures are found in this collection. Also included in this collection is a catalogue of university war contracts fulfilled by Harvard faculty during World War II (Box 2); a paper on Harvard's war research from June 1940 to April 1945, entitled History of Harvard War Contracts (Box 4); a history of civil affairs training for Europe and the Far East conducted under the auspices of the Harvard School for Overseas Administration (Box 6); a report written by Sterling Dow describing his activities as War Archivist (Box 2); and letters to Sterling Dow from Harvard faculty describing their war service experiences during World War II (Box 1).

Inventory update

This document last updated 2016 November 10.

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