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Abrams Aerial Survey Corporation photographic negatives, October 5, 1940

1 envelope

The Abrams Aerial Survey Corporation was an aerial surveying and research company based out of Lansing, Mich. The company served a variety of customers, including governmental units and businesses. Aerial views over the University of Michigan Stadium as well as other views of campus.

The collection consists of photographic negatives of aerial views over the University of Michigan Stadium during the Michigan-Michigan State University football game on October 5, 1940. Also includes other views of the University of Michigan campus on that same date.


Albert J. Schimpke collection of R.G. Peters materials, 1890-circa 1970

4 linear feet (in 6 boxes) — 1 oversize folder — 173 GB

The Albert J. Schimpke collection consists of photographs, audio-tapes, and other materials collected by Mr. Schimpke relating to Manistee, Michigan, especially the activities of one of its most prominent local lumbermen, Richard G. Peters.

The Albert J. Schimpke collection of R.G. Peters materials contains papers, photographs, negatives, and audio-tapes of interviews largely relating to lumbering in Manistee, Michigan.


Alumnae Council (University of Michigan) records, 1890-1999 (majority within 1917-1980)

4.5 linear feet

The University of Michigan Alumnae Council was founded in 1917 as a group to support women at the University of Michigan. They are active fund-raisers, and use the money to sponsor women's housing, scholarships, and organizations at the University. The records consist of photographs and meeting minutes.

The records of the University of Michigan Alumnae Council are divided into two series: Photographs and Meeting Minutes.


Ann Arbor Chamber Of Commerce records, 1919-1969

4 linear feet — 1 oversize folder

Organizational records and photographs.

The records of the Ann Arbor Chamber of Commerce include correspondence, minutes of meetings of the board of directors, subject files, photographs, and newspaper clippings concerning community projects. There are also papers concerning the work of Economic Development Committee and the Central Business District Committee, and the development of Greater Ann Arbor Research Park.


Ann Arbor, Michigan photograph collection, 1860s-1970s

2 linear feet (UCCs) — 2 oversize folders (UCCm)

Photographs collected from various donors relating to Ann Arbor, Michigan; include photos of buildings (public and private), houses, churches, and schools; also views of the city (by street and area); and miscellaneous photos of local events and activities, school class portraits, and other group portraits.

This collection of Ann Arbor photographs includes a wide variety of images of Ann Arbor buildings, street scenes, schools and classrooms, public events, and people. The images, dating from the 1860s to the 1970s, has been arranged into three series: Buildings, Houses, etc.; Views; and Activities, People, Events. Each folder may contain one or more images.

The researcher should be advised that this collection represents only a small portion of the library's Ann Arbor photos. The most complete access to the total holdings of the library is through the card catalog.


Demas Lindley Sears papers, 1916-1983 (majority within 1942-1946)

1.5 linear feet

This collection is made up of 158 letters, 8 speeches and writings, 36 documents, 25 ephemeral items and currency, 5 pamphlets or booklets, 43 newspaper clippings, 26 lithographs, and 99 photographs by or related to Lieutenant Colonel Demas Lindley Sears. The bulk of the collection pertains to his service as a mid-level intelligence officer in the U.S. Army's 37th Infantry Division during World War II. A small portion of the collection reflects his service in the 8th Ohio Infantry Regiment during the Punitive Expedition of 1916 and in the First U.S. Cavalry during World War I.

This collection is made up of 158 letters, 8 speeches and writings, 36 documents, 25 ephemeral items and currency, 5 pamphlets or booklets, 43 newspaper clippings, 26 lithographs, and 99 photographs by or related to Lieutenant Colonel Demas Lindley Sears. The bulk of the collection pertains to his service as a mid-level intelligence officer in the U.S. Army's 37th Infantry Division during World War II. A small portion of the collection reflects his service in the 8th Ohio Infantry Regiment during the Punitive Expedition of 1916 and in the First U.S. Cavalry during World War I.

The Correspondence begins with a telegram and four letters respecting the death of Demas and Lura Sears's child in August 1918. The remainder of the correspondence is made up of original and contemporary carbon copies of letters by Demas L. Sears between 1942 and 1946. The bulk of one hundred and forty three letters are personal letters from Demas "Pop" to his wife Lura "Mother" and daughter Frances "Baby," or from Demas to others, between January 1944 and December 1945.

Lt. Col. Sears was an engaging writer and he described everyday experiences with thoughtful attention to detail. Within the restrictive confines of military censorship, he was unable to share what he called "real news," but wrote about his living quarters, food, plans for his return home, requests for letters and photographs, and generally about life in the South Pacific. He sent his wife souvenirs, such as a Japanese rifle and an entrenching shovel. His descriptions of combat and war atrocities are vivid (see, for example, his letters from late February 1945, as the 37th fought to capture Manila).

Between April 2 and July 4, 1943, Demas Sears wrote a 46-page letter to his wife in a diary-like form. He kept the letter as an uncensored account of his time on the Fiji Islands and Guadalcanal (before departing for New Georgia). It is accompanied by a typescript of the letter, titled "From the Fiji Islands to Guadalcanal with the 37th Division."

Between March 8 and September 14, 1945, Demas also composed 10 diary-like letters, producing multiple carbon copies for Lura to distribute to particular family members. In the margins, Demas identified (by hand) March 8 and September 14 as the first and last of these "family bulletins," and provided his wife with lists of intended recipients.

A series of Writings and Speeches include one war date essay and eight postwar speeches. From the Solomon Islands after November 14, 1942, he reflected thoughtfully on the war as a "young man's war" (he was able to identify a total of 22 men out of 14,000 who had served in World War I) and the importance of maintaining U.S. military strength in peacetime. His speeches relate to his war experiences and his audiences included a Congregational Church Men's Club, a Memorial Day gathering at Bucyrus, an American Legion group, and others.

The collection's 36 Documents, 1917-1946 (bulk 1942-1946), include certificates and orders related to Demas Sears's commendations and awards; training materials; intelligence (G-2 Reports, copies of a captured and translated Japanese Sergeant's diary, summaries of the interrogations of General Tomoyuki Yamashita, a Japanese map of the Pacific, etc.), and other similar papers.

Seventy-one Printed Items include ephemera and currency, booklets and pamphlets, and newspaper clippings. Among the ephemeral items are three unique World War I-era holiday menus; a menu for a 1945 banquet in honor of Maj. Gen. Robert S. Beightler; admission and transport tickets; Japanese currency; two World War I-era record of service posters, and a manuscript note in Japanese. The two posters are located in the Graphics Division, and more information can be found in the Separated Materials section. The five booklets and pamphlets are each listed in the box and folder listing below. Forty-three newspaper clippings pertain to Lt. Col. Sears's World War II service.

The printed items also include 26 lithographs of pencil sketches by Edward "E. J." Dollriehs of the headquarters battery of the 37th Division. His illustrations include buildings, airfields, military headquarters, portraits, and the wreckage of Japanese planes. Dollriehs identified each with captions; most of the images are from the Luzon provinces of Bulacan, Pampanga, Pangasinan, and Tarlac.

The Sears papers contain 99 Photographs. Fifteen images from the period of Sears's service in World War I include two panoramic photographs of the First Cavalry Regiment, one panoramic photograph of the headquarters staff of the 37th Division, and 12 snapshots and portraits. The collection also contains 84 photographs from Sears's World War II service in the Pacific, including individual and group portraits, snapshots depicting camp life; a series of aerial snapshots taken from a C-47 on a leaflet-dropping mission over the Philippine Islands; five photographs of a Kava Ceremony in the Fiji Islands; and a selection of confidential Signal Corps photographs.


Emmett M. Smith photograph album, 1914-1919

approximately 790 photographs and 6 pieces of ephemera in 1 album

The Emmett M. Smith photograph album contains approximately 790 photographs and 6 pieces of ephemera related to the experiences of American soldier and engineer Cpl. Emmett Merle Smith while he served with the United States Army Air Service’s 800th Aero Repair Squadron in France during World War I.

The Emmett M. Smith photograph album contains approximately 790 photographs and 6 pieces of ephemera related to the experiences of American soldier and engineer Cpl. Emmett Merle Smith while he served with the United States Army Air Service’s 800th Aero Repair Squadron in France during World War I.

The album (28 x 37 cm) has black cloth covers with “Postal Souvenirs” stamped on the front; the covers and spine are in poor condition, as are a relatively small number photographs (some of which bear signs of insect damage).

On the inside of the front cover is a tipped-in copy of A History of the 800th Aero Repair Squadron, an official unit history account of the squadron published by its members in 1919. A small group of 10 loose photos and 6 pieces of ephemera are also present, including postcards, snapshots, YMCA guides to Paris and Marseilles, and two programs related to jointly held French and American Mother’s Day celebrations in Paris in May 1919 that were organized by L’Association des French Homes.

The first pasted-in photographs in the album are a series of 24 panoramic views showing Parisian scenery and famous landmarks. This section ends with another YMCA guide to Paris and a matriculation card for the Université de Paris Faculte des Sciences 1918-1919 for Emmett M. Smith that includes a portrait. Smith appears to likely have been the compiler of this album as he appears in numerous other photographs throughout. He was a member of the 800th Aero Repair Squadron’s Flight A, who were stationed at Camp de Souge near Bordeaux.

From pg. 15 through to the end of the album photographs are individually numbered from 1 to 781. While a typescript index describes photographs #25-28, there is no overarching index for the entire series. Numerous photos have captions (including manuscript captions), though the majority do not. Images come in a range of sizes and appear to have originated from numerous sources including German and French photographers as well as snapshots possibly taken by Smith himself. “AR” also appears on several photographs, possibly indicating that these images were taken by 800th Aero Repair Squadron photographers. However, by and large photographers are not identified for specific images.

In general, this album contains frontline scenes of battlefields, dead soldiers and animals, trench views, and ruined structures as well as images documenting camp life, military bases, and aerial reconnaissance views. Numerous photographs of military equipment, weaponry, airplanes, tanks, warships, soldiers, and street scenes showing cities/towns and civilians are also present. Post-war scenes include documented stays in Paris, southern France, Italy, and Spain.

Images of particular interest include:
  • #3 (image showing charging soldiers, some in gas masks, with one man appearing to be clutch his throat while falling; captioned “Actual photo of action at Verdune”)
  • #7, 651 (800th Aero Repair Squadron group portraits)
  • #12 (shot of Kaiser Wilhelm talking with German officers)
  • #15, 17 (aerial views of Albert, France, in November 1916)
  • #48, 70.1 (pictures of German tanks)
  • #73, 76 (view of citadel with German signage and view showing street signage by ruins; amongst other views that appear to be in Belgium)
  • #109 ("Toul - French plane ready for a flight")
  • #110, 111 (images showing the French and American sections of the 1918 panoramic painting Panthéon de la Guerre)
  • #142, 143 (two images of a train wreck by “Chiljian,” possibly Armenian American photographer Pvt. Henry B. Chiljian)
  • #146, 148 (two images showing plane crash wreckage)
  • #167 (French observation balloon being inflated)
  • #209 (Georges Clemenceau visiting aviation field)
  • #219 (clipping showing aftermath of the Halifax explosion with inscription reading “Spent 10 day aboard ship here right after explosion was supposed to have been here just before explosion but was delayed”)
  • #374 (post-war image captioned “U.S.A. bound” which precedes series of naval voyage images)
  • #451+ (images from Italy and Southern France)
  • #525 (railroad scene with “Chicago Opera Association” sign in view)
  • #631 (view of three men at typewriters working in an office with maps and aerial photographs pinned to the wall)
  • #638 (aerial view captioned “My aviation camp. Camp de Souge - North of Bordeaux from the 2nd Artillery Aerial Observation Island 1917-1918-1919”)
  • #649 (view showing surgery being performed on a man in operating room captioned “Hell - without [anesthesia]”)
  • #699 (view showing a queue outside of a YMCA in Bangor, Maine)
  • #712, 715 (two portraits of young women captioned “My Italian fiancée” and “My Spanish fiancée”)

George Romney Papers, 1920s-1973

601 linear feet — 194.6 GB (online)

Republican Governor of Michigan, 1962-1969; Presidential candidate, 1968; Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, 1969-1972. Papers consist of extensive correspondence and subject files from his tenure as governor, campaign material, and files relating to service at HUD and his other political activities, includes photographs, films and videotapes and sound recordings.

The papers of George Romney document the many faceted career of an automobile executive, governor of Michigan, candidate for President, cabinet officer, and activist on behalf of volunteerism. In this electronic version of the finding aid to the Romney papers, there are six subgroups of materials. These are Gubernatorial Papers covering the period of 1962 to 1969, Pre-gubernatorial Papers covering the period before taking office in 1963, Post-gubernatorial Papers covering the period after 1968, records of Romney Associates (a group established during his bid for the presidency), Visual Materials covering mainly the period up to 1969, and Sound Recordings also covering up to 1969. There is some overlapping of dates, particularly around the time when Romney was first elected governor in 1962 and the period when he joined the Nixon administration in 1969. The researcher should also note that the papers of Lenore Romney are not part of this finding aid.


Harry A. Towsley papers, 1876-1990

9.0 linear feet — 1 oversize folder — 73 film reels — 26.25 GB

Pediatrician, professor and philanthropist, joined University of Michigan Dept. of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases in 1934, and served with the 298th General Hospital Unit during World War II. Papers include medical school lecture notes, class of 1931 files, medical research files; correspondence, histories, photographs and motion pictures relating to the 298th General Hospital Unit, family history materials including Frank A. Towsley's diary, 1876, and family correspondence, 1878-1926 and photographs.

The papers of Harry A. Towsley provide a broad overview of the many facets of his career, including his medical education at the University of Michigan, his service with the 298th General Hospital during World War II, and his professional career as a pediatrician and educator. The collection is arranged in eleven series as follows: Biographical Material; Correspondence; Family History; Foundation Relations Committee Files; General Files; Iodine and Goiter Research; Pediatric Files; Student Notes; Reunion Files; 298th General Hospital Records; and Films.


James T. Wilson papers, 1940-1978

1.5 linear feet

Professor of geology, and director of the Institute of Science and Technology at the University of Michigan. Files relating to his professional career, especially his interest in seismology and investigations into earthquake reduction; and photographs.

The papers of James Tinley Wilson consist of 1.5 linear feet of manuscript, photographic and printed material covering the years, 1940-1978. There is material from most aspects of Wilson's professional activities, but nothing relating to his private life.

The papers of James Tinley Wilson are most valuable as supplementary to other archival materials available at the Bentley Historical Library. Of most importance are the records of the Institute of Science and Technology. Unfortunately, as an independent research source, the usefulness of the collection is more limited. The full span of Wilson's professional life is documented, but not in any great depth. Researchers interested in the development of seismology as a field of scientific endeavor would possibly find Wilson's papers helpful, but those seeking information about any of the professional associations or the workings of the IST should be aware of the sparseness of these records.

The papers have been arranged in the following series: Biography, Associations, Conferences, Consulting, Correspondence, University of Michigan, Writings, Photographs.