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Finding Aids to Individual Collections in the Archive of Folk Culture

THE WORLD WAR II RUMOR PROJECT COLLECTION

AFC 1945/001

Library of Congress, Washington DC
March 1995

SUMMARY

The World War II Rumor Project was coordinated under the auspices of the Office of War Information (OWI), Special Services Administration, which was established to achieve a coordinated governmental war-information program. The project created a collection of manuscripts, including some graphics. The program aimed to promote an intelligent understanding of the status and progress of the war effort, war policies, activities, and the aims of the United States government.

This project has two distinct components. The first component involved field representatives of various federal agencies who sent OWI manuscripts, or written reports, which they collected from individuals or "correspondents." The second component involved materials that were rumors, jokes, and anecdotes about the war from high school and college students collected by teachers.

Access and Reproduction: Viewing access to the collection is unrestricted. Duplication of the materials may be governed by copyright and other restrictions.

Key Subjects: armies; Churchill, Winston, Sir, 1874-1965; college students; high school teachers; Hitler, Adolf, 1889-1945; navies; public opinion; Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945; rumor; student activities; war and education; war propaganda; wit and humor; World War, 1939-1945; Afro-Americans; Jews; Japanese; Germans

Languages and Dialects: English

Physical Description:

Manuscripts

10 boxes (141 folders)

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE

The World War II Rumor Project Collection contains the manuscript materials from the Office of War Information (OWI). The OWI was established by an Executive order on June 13, 1942, for the purpose of achieving a coordinated governmental war-information program. The information program was designed to promote an informed and intelligent understanding of the status and progress of the war effort, war policies, activities, and aims of the United States government. All functions of the Office of Facts and Figures and of the Office of Government Reports, and parts of the functions and related records of two other agencies were transferred to the OWI.

For the World War II Rumor Project, field representatives collected information from community-based correspondents and sent duplicate or triplicate copies of reports of the correspondents to Dr. Eugene Horowitz at the Bureau of Public Inquiries of the OWI. The reports listed rumors and anecdotes that were compiled by Dr. Horowitz and William H. Webber in the alphabetized order by states and by subjects.

This collection has two distinct components. The first component involved field representatives of various federal agencies in the United States instructed to enlist individuals in their communities who were willing to write down rumors and send them to the field representatives. These individuals or "correspondents" included dentists, beauty shop operators, policemen, proprietors, and librarians who had access to rumors in their communities.

The second component involved rumors, jokes, and anecdotes about the war from high school and college students collected by teachers. Correspondence within the folders indicates that some teachers removed some rumors or jokes in order to "show the best of their pupils." Within the documents, race designations vary. For one school, correspondence indicates that students were not asked to identify their race due to local tensions. However, the papers were taken up in order, and the teacher later added a designation as to the race of the student. The designations for African-American students appear as "Negro," "N," "Colored," "Col," or "C." Designations for white students appear as "White" or "W."

Graphics appear in the following folders:

Folder 114
Folder 118
Folder 122
Folder 123
Folder 127

The materials are divided into five series. Series I consists of administrative information about this project. The correspondence is in chronological order. Series II concerns the administrative information about local rumor-control projects and correspondence. Series III includes the reports of rumors gathered by correspondents, sent in by field representatives. Series IV contains rumors from correspondents and field representatives. They are arranged in broad topical categories as originally classified by Dr. Horowitz of the OWI. Series V includes the rumors, jokes, and anecdotes from high school and college students collected and submitted by teachers.

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF SERIES

SERIES I

Location Contents
Folder 1 Rumor Control Project Documents - various editions
Folder 2 Administrative Information and Correspondence, January-March, 1942
Folder 3 Administrative Information and Correspondence, April-June, 1942
Folder 4 Administrative Information and Correspondence, July-August, 1942
Folder 5 Administrative Information and Correspondence, September-December, 1942
Folder 6 Diagrams of Rumor and Rumor Control
Folder 7 Graphics and Articles
Folder 8 Radio Broadcast "War Information and Military Security"

SERIES II

Location Contents
Folder 9 Memoranda on Rumors and Rumor Control Groups: Various Drafts
Folder 10 Memoranda on Rumors and Rumor Control Groups: Various Drafts
Folder 11 Memoranda on Rumors and Rumor Control Groups: Dr. Horowitz's File
Folder 12 Correspondents and Rumor Analysis
Folder 13 Rumor Analysis on Several Topics, including compilations of rumors received
Folder 14 Local Rumor Control Projects: Rumor Collectors
Folder 15 Local Rumor Control Projects: Correspondence and Internal Documents
Folder 16 Local Rumor Control Projects: Introduction Letter and Questionnaire

SERIES III

Location Contents
Folder 17 Local Rumor Control Projects: Alabama
Folder 18 Local Rumor Control Projects: Arizona
Folder 19 Local Rumor Control Projects: Arkansas
Folder 20 Local Rumor Control Projects: California
Folder 21 Local Rumor Control Projects: Colorado
Folder 22 Local Rumor Control Projects: Connecticut
Folder 23 Local Rumor Control Projects: Florida
Folder 24 Local Rumor Control Projects: Georgia
Folder 25 Local Rumor Control Projects: Idaho
Folder 26 Local Rumor Control Projects: Illinois
Folder 27 Local Rumor Control Projects: Indiana
Folder 28 Local Rumor Control Projects: Iowa
Folder 29 Local Rumor Control Projects: Kansas
Folder 30 Local Rumor Control Projects: Kentucky
Folder 31 Local Rumor Control Projects: Louisiana
Folder 32 Local Rumor Control Projects: Maine
Folder 33 Local Rumor Control Projects: Massachusetts
Folder 34 Massachusetts Committee on Public Safety: Documents and Correspondence
Folder 35 Local Rumor Control Projects: Michigan
Folder 36 Local Rumor Control Projects: Minnesota
Folder 37 Local Rumor Control Projects: Missouri
Folder 38 Local Rumor Control Projects: Montana
Folder 39 Local Rumor Control Projects: Nebraska
Folder 40 Local Rumor Control Projects: New Jersey
Folder 41 Local Rumor Control Projects: New Mexico
Folder 42 Local Rumor Control Projects: New York
Folder 43 Local Rumor Control Projects: North Carolina
Folder 44 Local Rumor Control Projects: North Dakota
Folder 45 Local Rumor Control Projects: Ohio
Folder 46 Local Rumor Control Projects: Oklahoma
Folder 47 Local Rumor Control Projects: Oregon
Folder 48 Local Rumor Control Projects: Pennsylvania
Folder 49 Local Rumor Control Projects: Rhode Island
Folder 50 Local Rumor Control Projects: South Carolina
Folder 51 Local Rumor Control Projects: Tennessee
Folder 52 Local Rumor Control Projects: Texas
Folder 53 Local Rumor Control Projects: Utah
Folder 54 Local Rumor Control Projects: Virginia
Folder 55 Local Rumor Control Projects: Washington (State)
Folder 56 Local Rumor Control Projects: Washington D. C.
Folder 57 Local Rumor Control Projects: West Virginia
Folder 58 Local Rumor Control Projects: Wisconsin
Folder 59 Local Rumor Control Projects: Wyoming

SERIES IV

Classifications are as follows:

Location Contents
Folder 60 Anti-British
Folder 61 Armed Forces: Health
Folder 62 Army-Navy Commissions
Folder 63 Army-Navy Training
Folder 64 Civilian Defense
Folder 65 Civilian Front: Criticism of Government
Folder 66 Civilian Front: Security and Treatment of Enemy Aliens
Folder 67 Criticism of U.S. Government
Folder 68 Defense Workers
Folder 69 Defense Workers: Pay
Folder 70 Discards as non-rumor
Folder 71 Economic Front: War Bonds and Stamps
Folder 72 Farmers
Folder 73 Government Information: Policy and Practice
Folder 74 Inflation
Folder 75 Labor Relations and Union Activities
Folder 76 Military: High commands
Folder 77 Military: Movement of troops
Folder 78 Military: Woman Auxiliaries
Folder 79 Military Losses: Human Combatants
Folder 80 Military Losses: Prisoners
Folder 81 Military Losses: Warships
Folder 82 Military Officers
Folder 83 Military Organization: General
Folder 84 Military Recruitment (Military Selective Service)
Folder 85 Military Strategy: American Front
Folder 86 Military Strategy: Far East Front
Folder 87 Military Strategy: Russian Front
Folder 88 Military Strategy: Second Front
Folder 89 Military Strength
Folder 90 Military Strength of the United States: Perceptions
Folder 91 Military Tactics
Folder 92 Miscellaneous (Permalife copies)
Folder 93 Miscellaneous (Original copies)
Folder 94 Morals
Folder 95 Operations, Actual and Potential: In United States and along United States Coast
Folder 96 Operations: Aleutians
Folder 97 Operations: Russian Front
Folder 98 Post World-War
Folder 99 Predictions of Duration
Folder 100 Rationing: Miscellaneous (Permalife copies)
Folder 101 Rationing: Miscellaneous (Original copies)
Folder 102 Rationing: Rubber and tire rationing
Folder 103 Rationing: Sugar
Folder 104 Russia's Arms and War Effort (1) Favorable and neutral and (2) Unfavorable
Folder 105 Social problems: General
Folder 106 Social problems: Poverty and Unemployment
Folder 107 Social Problems: Race discrimination
Folder 108 Social Problems: Race Discrimination, other: Japanese, German
Folder 109 Strategy: General
Folder 110 War arms: General and Miscellaneous
Folder 111 War causes
Folder 112 War Production Management

SERIES V

Location Contents
Folder 113 Instruction sheet for High School and College Instructors
Folder 114 Alabama. Parker High School, Birmingham
Folder 115 Alabama. Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee. (Permalife copies)
Folder 116 Alabama. Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee. (Original copies)
Folder 117 Illinois. Du Sable High School, Chicago
Folder 118 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 119 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 120 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 121 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 122 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 123 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 124 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 125 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 126 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 127 Illinois. Englewood High School, Chicago
Folder 128 North Carolina. Washington High School, Raleigh
Folder 129 Ohio. East High School, Columbus
Folder 130 Ohio. East High School, Columbus
Folder 131 Ohio. Dennison College, Granville
Folder 132 Ohio. Wilberforce University, Wilberforce (Permalife copies)
Folder 133 Ohio. Wilberforce University, Wilberforce (Original copies)
Folder 134 Washington, D.C. Howard University
Folder 135 West Virginia. Bluefield State Teachers College, Bluefield
Folder 136 West Virginia. West Virginia State College, Institute
Folder 137 Unknown High School
Folder 138 Unknown High School
Folder 139 Unknown High School
Folder 140 Unknown School
Folder 141 Unknown School

 

 

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