University of Pennsylvania in World War I
University Administration

This subject guide was created in 2013 by Rebecca Sokolow, University Archives Summer Research Fellow and an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania
August 2013

Access to collections is granted in accordance with the Protocols for the University Archives and Records Center.

General Administration Records, UPA 3

Boxes 115-120
Contains records of the University during the World War I period, arranged chronologically, and then by theme alphabetically within each year. Records include an alumni petition to the Provost regarding military instruction, statements by the Provost about the war, correspondence relating to the number of students lost from registration to enlistment, and leaves of absences granted. In addition, this collection includes records of University expenses and property, rosters of enlisted men, and records of University medical service during the war, among other administrative documents.


Board of Trustees Minutes, UPA 1.1

Volumes 16 and 17, 1916-1919
The minutes document the decisions made by the trustees about the operation of the University during the World War I period. The war is mentioned explicitly several times. The trustees made important changes to the University because of the war, such as the introduction of military training, the creation of a Department of Military Science and Tactics, and measures taken to attract returning soldiers back to the University after the war. These changes are documented in the Board of Trustees Minutes.


College of Arts and Sciences, Office of the Dean Records, UPB 1.4

Box 6
This collection includes applications for leaves of absence for agricultural service and army service, reports from the Curriculum Committee concerning the new wartime curriculum that had to be approved by the War Department of the United States, and lists of faculty members who were of draft age, along with the Draft Board with which they each registered. It also documents communication between the Dean of the College and the War Department’s Committee on Education.


Towne Scientific School Records, UPD 2.1

Boxes 1A, FF 1 and FF 2; Box 2
Box 1A contains the Faculty Minutes of the Towne Scientific School from 1915 through 1919. The minutes announce University-wide wartime measures, such as the addition to the faculty of a Professor of Military Science and Tactics. They also discuss Government requests for the Towne School to focus on certain areas that would be helpful to the war effort, such as radio communication. Lastly, some of the minutes are concerned with the Students’ Army Training Corps and its demobilization.

Box 2 contains mainly war-related correspondence and documents of Robert H. Fernald, a professor of the Towne Scientific School.


Office of the Recorder, UPA 9

Box 3
These are the files of George Nitzsche, the only person to hold the position of Recorder in the University’s history. Nitzsche documents all the changes that occurred at the University during World War I, and many of the ways in which Penn students, faculty, and administration contributed to the war effort. He also writes in detail about the military training program at the University.