The John Osborn Santo Tomas internment transcriptions are typed copies of 21 letters (18 pages) that Osborn wrote about life in the Santo Tomas internment camp and in Manila, Philippines, between February 6, 1945, and April 15, 1945. Some of the letters are addressed to an acquaintance named Ruby.
Osborn wrote about many aspects of life in Manila just after the United States Army liberated the city. He described conditions in the Santo Tomas internment camp before the Americans' arrival, with most residents suffering from malnutrition and severe weight loss. He wrote during the final stages of the fighting, as Japanese bombs continued to reach Manila and the camp despite the presence of US forces. In his letter of February 23-25, 1945, Osborn listed some names and numbers of people wounded and killed during shelling on February 7 and February 10. In other letters he commented on Allied troops' progress in the Pacific, particularly in the Philippines.
Osborn often wrote about food and shared his appreciation for the army's provisions. He compared the fare to that from before the camp's liberation in his letter of February 16, 1945. He also wrote about the black market, war destruction, and the transition of Santo Tomas from an internment camp to a refugee camp. As the fighting became removed from Manila, Osborn met with acquaintances from outside the camp and attempted to recover some materials from his pre-war library, which consisted of around 900 volumes.