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West Europe: New Acquisitions

March 4, 2014
Memoirs of King Kong Director and War Hero at Hoover

Merian Caldwell Cooper would be a top candidate for the "Most Interesting Man in the World." Although Cooper is known for his 1933 production of King Kong, there were many more interesting episodes in his life in addition to that iconic movie. Indeed, in the words of the film historian Richard Schickel, “his career was larger than life.” Expelled from Annapolis in his senior year for advocating air power, a view the navy frowned on, in 1916 he joined the Georgia National Guard and served with General Pershing’s expedition against Pancho Villa. Transferred to the US Army Air Service, Cooper saw action in World War I over Germany, where he was shot down, seriously injured, and spent the last several months of the war in a German prisoner of war (POW) camp. From 1919 until 1921, Cooper worked with the American Relief Administration (ARA) and later volunteered for the US flight unit the Kosciuszko Squadron, part of the Polish effort to stop the Bolshevik advance into Europe.

February 6, 2014
Helena Paderewska Memoirs Discovered in the Hoover Archives

Not long ago the Hoover Archives received the papers and memorabilia of the US musician and military intelligence officer Ernest Schelling. Found during initial sorting of the materials was a tattered manila envelope containing two unsigned typewritten copies of a text in English ending with “Riond Bosson, Morges, Switzerland, May 29, 1920.”

January 10, 2013
Javier Benedet’s Spanish Civil War Collection by David Jacobs

The recently acquired Javier Benedet collection contains significant materials relating to the Spanish Civil War and to fundraising efforts in Northern California on behalf of the Republican side in that conflict. The Benedet papers also provide documentation on the plight of Republican refugees in the aftermath of the Civil War and on the political life of the Spanish anti-fascist diaspora in France, Mexico, and other countries.

December 21, 2012
A Philatelic History of the ARA: the Arthur H. Groten Collection

The Hoover Archives has received a collection of documents, postcards and letters connected with the work of the American Relief Administration. Herbert Hoover organized and directed the ARA, providing assistance to millions of displaced and hungry victims of World War I. The collection, consisting mostly of stamped postal requests and acknowledgements from individuals and private organizations assisting in the American aid effort, covers the entire period of the ARA’s operation in Central and Eastern Europe, from its early 1919 start in Austria, Hungary and Poland, until the summer of 1923, the end of the American mission in Moscow.

July 6, 2012
Rare French Periodicals Added to the Hoover Library

The library has acquired complete sets of two rare French periodicals: La Ligue and Celsius, neither of which is listed in American library catalogs; they are available only in the Bibliothèque National in Paris. The acquisition of these two titles by Hoover enhances the strength of the library’s French holdings on the themes of war, revolution, and peace.

June 18, 2012
Ernest Schelling’s Papers and Memorabilia Come to Hoover

Known affectionately by his youngest fans as “Uncle Ernest,” Ernest Schelling was an American pianist and composer, the founder and for sixteen years the conductor of the New York Philharmonic-Symphony Young People’s concerts until his untimely death in 1939. His musical papers, which are held by the University of Maryland’s International Piano Archives, provide detailed documentation of the course of his artistic career, but relatively little has been known or available about Ernest Schelling’s life outside music. The new Hoover collection sheds light on an important segment of his biography: his distinguished career as an intelligence officer and diplomat during and immediately after World War I, and his lifetime friendship with Ignace Jan Paderewski. the charismatic Polish piano virtuoso and statesman.

November 11, 2011
The Papers of a Righteous German Acquired by Hoover Archives

Adolf Kurtz, a Protestant pastor, following Hitler’s ascent to power in 1933, resisted the government’s efforts to control religious life in Germany. In that his wife was born a Jew, he organized a relief agency to help Christians of Jewish heritage. After the war, in 1948, Pastor Kurtz was invited by the British military authorities in Berlin to come to England to visit German prisoner-of-war camps. A year ago, Hoover Archives acquired a collection of letters, certificates, church registers, and photographs, mostly associated with Pastor Kurt’s later life in Oxford. The increment, newly acquired, consists of many original personal documents, mostly from the pastor’s earlier years in Berlin.

October 19, 2011
A Half Century of Service: Charles Nelson Leach, MD

The Hoover Archives have received the papers and photographs of Charles Nelson Leach (1884–1971), a US doctor who participated in some of the greatest health emergencies of the twentieth century. His association with programs led by Herbert Hoover and contribution to the building of the Hoover Tower are remembered on the walls inside the lobby of the Hoover Tower, where his name is inscribed in three separate places. The bulk of the Charles Leach collection pertains to the 1917–1920 period. It includes photo albums, calendars, clippings, and a diary of an adventurous 1919 trip, in an ARA Cadillac, through Central and Eastern Europe.

March 14, 2011
Papers of Member of Congress and American Field Service Cofounder A. Piatt Andrew are Now Open for Use

The papers of A. Piatt Andrew, who had a long and varied career as university professor, government official, member of Congress, and director of an ambulance service in wartime, are now open for use. The collection will be of interest to historians and researchers studying American politics, economics, and foreign relations in the early twentieth century, as well as those interested in the story of the American Field Service in France during World War I.

February 4, 2011
The Hoover Archives acquires additional letters by Eric Voegelin

Twelve letters written to Elisabeth de Waal (née Ephrussi) by the Austrian-born political scientist Eric Voegelin were recently added to his collection. The original installment of this correspondence at Hoover (acquired from Voegelin’s widow in the 1980s) consisted of forty-five letters from Elisabeth to Eric (from 1938 to 1976) and seven carbon copies of his letters to her (from 1941 to 1974). Now, thanks to the generosity of Edmund de Waal, these twelve letters—ten of which had never been seen before, two of which Hoover had as carbon copies—from Eric to Elisabeth, spanning the years 1926 to 1959, complement the letters we had in hand.

December 4, 2007
Papers of Ambassador Jacques Leprette now available for use at the Hoover Institution Archives

The papers of French diplomat Jacques Leprette (1920–2004), acquired in 2005 and newly processed and available for research use in the Hoover Institution Archives, document the life and distinguished diplomatic career of a man who proudly served the French government yet was an equally ardent citizen of Europe and friend of the United States.