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Brown University and the Military

Materials in the Brown University Archives related to the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World Wars, Vietnam, and the military.

Revolutionary War

University Records

James Manning papers, 1761-1827, (bulk 1770-1792), MS-1C-1. See finding aid for digital surrogates.

Rhode Island College miscellaneous papers, 1763-1804, MS-1E-1.  See finding aid for digital surrogates.

Civil War

Personal Papers

Manuscripts not in collections, MS-1ZX (University Archives)

Avery, William Bailey

Alden, Charles Henry

Bishop, Phanuel Euclid

Edgell, John Davis

Green, Arnold

Monroe, John Albert

Packard, Alpheus

Peck, George B.


Brown University student diaries, 1820- (bulk 1820-1921),  MS-1R-1 (University Archives)

  • Burrage, Henry Sweetser


Brown University student correspondence, 1769-1940 (bulk 1789-1869), MS-1R-2 (University Archives)

  • Porter, Emery Huntington


William Mason Turner papers, 1855-1877, Ms. 77.1 (Manuscripts)  A native Virginian, William Mason Turner attended Brown University, from which he received a Ph.B. degree in 1855. Following Brown, Turner enrolled in medical school at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia for a three year course of study. After completing his studies in medicine, Turner made a tour of Europe and the Middle East with a group of fellow doctors. With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Turner joined the Confederate Army as a surgeon. In September that year, he was on the staff of the General Hospital at C.S. Fort Nelson in Norfolk, Virginia. He was eventually captured and spent the last months of the war in a prisoner of war camp.



Burrage, Henry S, et al. Brown University In the Civil War: A Memorial. Providence: [Providence Press Company, printers], 1868.  A digitized version is available from the Internet Archive.

Books At Brown. Providence, R.I.: Friends of the Library, Brown University. 20 (1965).  Two articles by historian Robert George on Brown during the Civil War.  Includes an article on Brown University men who were in the Confederate army.  ONLINE ACCESS

World War I

Personal Papers

Brown University World War I correspondence, 1917-1918, MS-1E-3.

Correspondence of Alfred Gurney, Miscellaneous Manuscripts, MS-1ZX.  Several letters while Gurney served in the U.S. Army.

Herbert Eugene Walter papers, 1885-1948 and n.d, MS-1UF-W1. Letters received by Walter from World War I servicemen.

Publications and Scrapbooks

Brown Alumni Monthly, July 1918.

College Scrapbooks.

Topic Files: Brown University-History-World War I, 1-E.


Brown in the Great War.  Project by Public Humanities graduate student utilizing the resources of the University Archives and Special Collections.

World War II

University Records

  • Civil Pilot Training Program Records, 1939-1942, OF-1H-1.  The Civil Pilot Training Program records are arranged in nine series and contain the records from the Brown University/Civil Aeronautics Administration program to provide flight training to undergraduate students while they pursue their regular academic study. The records date from 1939 through 1941.   
  • Manhattan District Project Records, OF-1ZCH-1.  Three boxes of files were received from the Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, relating to Brown University Contract with the Manhattan District Project (Manhattan Project), obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and presented to the Brown University Archives.
  • Veterans College papers, 1942-1949, OF-1ZV-1. The Veterans College began as the Veterans Extension Division in the fall of 1947, when the G.I. Bill encouraged many World War II veterans to seek a college education.   Fourteen hundred applications were received and 486 were accepted.   In November the name was changed to Veterans College in recognition of their work, and at the end of the term, 139 students of the Veterans College were transferred to the regular College and three women students to Pembroke College.  The records include correspondence and reports.
  • Henry Merrit Wriston papers, 1914-1977, OF-1C-11.  President Wriston's papers contain information about the Veterans College.
  • Samuel T. Arnold papers, 1936-1957, OF-1CA-A2. Samuel Arnold was Dean of the College and Dean of the University.  His papers contain information about the Veterans College.

Personal Papers

  • English themes by World War II veterans, 1946, MS-1N-E1.  (library catalog record) (finding aid) A collection of over one-hundred essays written by Brown University students who were veterans of World War II, for an English class in 1947.
  • Miscellaneous Manuscripts, MS-1ZX. Letters written by Brown University students and alumni who were in the war:

Dealey, James Quayle                       

Hunt, E. Howard

Mazet, Robert

  • Lyn Crost papers, 1937-1996, Ms. 2005.46, Manuscripts.  (library catalog record) (finding aid) Papers relating primarily to Crost's experiences as a war correspondent covering the 100th Infantry Battalion and 442nd Regimental Combat Team in Europe during World War II, and materials she used in writing Honor by Fire.  Pembroke College, Class of 1938.
  • Thomas J. Watson, Jr. papers, 1905-1994 (bulk 1940-1981), MS-1U-W1. (library catalog record) (finding aid) The Diaries series consists of descriptions of Watson's civilian travels and his experiences during World War II. In 1930 he traveled in Europe and in 1937 he traveled in Europe, Japan, Korea, and China, including Manchuria. The military diaries include detailed descriptions of the Soviet Union and the Pacific islands as well as Watson's personal experiences.

The alumni below responded to inquiries in the 1990s by the Curator of the Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection regarding their service in World War II:


Topic Files: Brown University-History-World War II, 1-E.


Brown Town


Vietnam War


The Vietnam War: Our Veterans' Stories exhibit and Vietnam Veteran Archives resources.

Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC)

Brown Alumni Magazine

The Further Reading section of the online exhibit The Vietnam War: Our Veterans' Stories exhibit includes links to articles and letters about ROTC in the late 1960s and 1970s.


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