MSS #: MC 31
Processed by: Heather Robertson ('94), January 1994
Volume: 22.75 lin. ft.: 2 trunks, 1 roll, 1 oversize folder, 1 volume, 9 boxes [box #7 no longer used]
Additions of 2004 noted in Provenance.
Provenance: The Charles White Whittlesey Collection is a compilation of material from several different donors pertaining mainly to Whittlesey's career as a soldier in World War I. The bulk of the artifacts in the collection are believed to have come from Whittlesey's parents, Frank and Annie Whittlesey of Pittsfield, MA somewhere around 1924 or 1928. The letter from the German commanding officer requesting the surrender of Whittlesey's battalion was left to George McMurtry in Whittlesey's will. The letter, however, was donated to Williams College by Whittlesey's parents. The newspaper clippings and an autographed photograph of Whittlesey were given to the College in 1948 by W. Allan Newell (Williams Class of 1905), a classmate of Whittlesey's. The article from the National Service Magazine was a gift of the author, John Holman. The good-bye letter, which Whittlesey wrote to his close friend, J. Bayard Pruyn, from the S.S. Toloa, entered the Williams College Library in 1982 through Pruyn's brother-in-law, G. Dykeman Sterling. (At that time, it was recorded as New Misc. Mss., Box 1.1 Folder 28.) The letter from Whittlesey to the National Cyclopedia of American Biography arrived at the Archives in 1989, a gift of Dr. J. Brooks Hoffman. (It was accessioned then as 89- 076.) The remainder of the Collection comes from sources which are unknown at this time. It is likely that all or part of this collection was at one time stored in Thompson Memorial Chapel on the Williams College campus.
Whittlesey's Légion d'honneur medal was donated to the college archives Oct. 2004 along with his certificates of permission to practice law in the Southern District of New York, a charcoal sketch by S.J.Wray, and a photograph of a raised relief of Col. Whittlesey. The donor, Patricia Storey, is the daughter of Bayard Pruyn and godchild of Whittlesey.
Conservation: The artifacts in this collection, many of which were loose on the storage shelves and thus exposed to light and dust, were rearranged so as to fit into two trunks and various acidfree storage boxes. Some had begun to decay. These items were wrapped in unbleached muslin to protect other pieces stored nearby. Papers and photographs shelved with the artifacts were removed to the paper collection and placed in acidfree folders. A scrapbook found with the artifacts was also removed to the paper collection and acidfree paper was placed between its leaves. It was then placed in a book box to protect it from light and dust. Framed items were unframed and placed in regular and oversized folders. Finally, all deteriorating newspaper clippings were photocopied onto acidfree paper.
Copyright: Request for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the College Archivist.