University of Pennsylvania in World War I
Personal Papers

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.

Clark and Madeira Family Papers, UPT 50 C592

Box 6, FF 21 and FF 22
This collection includes Edith Madeira’s (1865-c.1930) letters describing her service with the Red Cross in Palestine during World War I.


Robert Dechert Family Papers, UPT 50 D293

Box 2
The Dechert Family Papers document the military service of Robert Dechert during World War I. They include correspondence, notebooks, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, and personal items. There are also three oversized maps of France from the World War I period.


Michail M. Dorizas Papers, UPT 50 D699

Box 1
Dorizas’ papers contain correspondence relating to military service during World War I, and some newspaper clippings about the war.


Frazer Family Papers, UPT 50 F848

Box 24, FF 4
John Frazer served in the Intercollegiate Intelligence Bureau during World War I, and also took a year off from being the Dean of the Towne Scientific School to contribute to the war effort during World War I. His papers document his involvement with the First City Troop of Philadelphia before the United States joined the war.


John Rissel Kessler Papers, UPT 50 K425

John Rissler Kessler was a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, who served in the U.S. Army Ambulance Service during World War I. The John Rissler Kessler Papers consist primarily of correspondence from Rissler to his family between 1917 and 1920 - documenting his experience serving as an U.S. Army ambulance driver assigned to the French Army.


R. Tait McKenzie Papers, UPT 50 McK37

Boxes 7, 8, and 16
R. Tait McKenzie was the director of the Physical Education program at the University during the World War I period. His personal papers include articles he wrote about the need for athletic and physical training within a military training program, and a list of military-related topics on which he lectured at the University. He discusses the physical education work at the University and how it prepared students for enlistment in case of a national emergency. McKenzie’s papers also include a photo album and collection of loose photos focused on military training and rehabilitation of wounded soldiers.


Percy C. Madeira, Jr. Papers, UPT 50 M181.1

Box 1, FF 8
Percy Madeira joined the First City Troop, and saw service in the Mexican Expedition. He then accepted a commission in the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps during World War I. A scrapbook in this collection documents his military service from 1917-1918.


George Wharton Pepper Papers, UPT 50 P423

Box 1, FF 28-34; Box 2, FF 10-13; Box 5, FF 50, 53, 54, 58, 60-66, 71, 74; Box 6, FF 2, 4, 7, 9-13, 16-21, 25-28, 31-33, 37, 38, 40, 41, 44, 45, 47-49; Box 7, FF 5, 7-9, 14, 20; Box 17, FF 1-5; Box 20, FF 18, 19; Box 22, FF 12-18; Box 25, FF 28
This collection includes correspondence, speeches, writings, and biographical manuscripts of George Wharton Pepper. Pepper’s opinions on local, national, and international affairs were frequent topics of his correspondence. World War I, the National Preparedness movement and the League of Nations were frequent topics of his speeches.


Alfred Newton Richards Papers, UPT 50 R514

Box 28, FF 15-45
Alfred Newton Richards served as the Chair of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. During World War I he went to Britain to study wound shock with Henry H. Dale and the staff of the British Medical Research Committee. In 1918 he was sent to France by the U.S. Sanitary Corps to set up a laboratory for the effects of gas warfare. This collection contains correspondence concerning World War I, studies on gas warfare, as well as charts, graphs, and other reports having to do with his experiments during the war. It also includes reports from the Special Committee on Surgical Shock, which met during the war.


David Ralston Stief Diary, UPT 50 S925

Stief’s diary is an account of his service during World War I. Stief did not have much combat experience, so his diary mostly describes his everyday life in England and France, as well as the leisure activities of hospital workers in France. The diary includes caricatures and photographs.


Townsend Family Papers, UPT 50 T752

Box 1, Scrapbook No. 3
This Townsend scrapbook contains World War I memorabilia. It also includes newspaper clippings that provide national and local perspectives on the war. The scrapbook documents the Townsend family’s participation in World War I, as well as John W. Townsend’s family’s efforts to leave Europe when the war broke out during their vacation there.