Tufts War Museum Collection, 1813 -- 1935


Title: Tufts War Museum Collection
Dates: 1813 -- 1935
Bulk Dates: 1900 -- 1928
Creator: Tufts College
Call Number: UA208
Size: 4.08 Cubic Feet, 6 boxes, 1 oversized folder
Language(s): English  
Permanent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10427/003688
    Digital Collections and Archives, Tufts University


This collection includes a few of the war-related artifacts from the original Tufts War museum established after World War I. Materials include photographs, including tintypes; postcards; fossils, shells, and stones; coins; memorabilia; posters; and other artifacts.


This collection is organized in three series: Museum cabinet artifacts; Museum artifacts, posters and bonds; and World War I Photographs and Postcards.


Biographical / Historical

According to a 1920 Tufts Weekly article, Professor Arthur Irving Andrews, head of the Department of History and Public Law, founded the Tufts War Museum in 1919.

The Tufts War Relics Museum, also known as the Tufts War Museum or Tufts College War Relics Museum, was originally and temporarily set up in the library at Ballou Hall with Ms. Hayes acting as custodian and Dr. A. I. Andrews, professor of history and public law, as curator. Tufts students, alumni and alumni and alumnae organizations, and faculty donated items (primarily from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia) and the US War Department provided military transportation service for shipping items from Europe to Tufts.

In November 1919, a special exhibit of the Tufts War Museum was set up in Ballou Hall (third floor) in connection with the meetings of the Tufts College Teachers' Association and the New England History Association on the Hill. It is currently unknown how long the museum actually existed.

Access and Use

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see "Reproductions and Use" on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Collection History

Processing Notes

This collection is processed.

Custodial History

This collection was created after finding two wooden artifact boxes in the vault of Ballou Hall in 2010. The artifacts and their labels indicated that they had once belonged to the Tufts War Relics Museum, also known as the Tufts War Museum or Tufts College War Relics Museum, about whose existence DCA had only known through Tufts Weekly articles from 1919-1920. Upon transfer to DCA and further research into the original contents of the collection, WWI posters were moved from the AC collection to this collection.

Most of the original museum artifacts are still missing: according to contemporary articles, the museum included collections sent by Dr. Arthur Irving Andrews (including a section of the barbed wire used in the defenses of the famous fort at Douaumont, shells from Verdum, lead bullets, stones from the Verdun battle field, two horsechestnuts from a tree which though badly scarred was still alive in Verdun), Professor A. C. Lane, Professor H. V. Neal (most likely the Y. M. C. A. material given his service during the war), Dr. W. F. Waytt (including Austrian and Italian helmets, an Austrian trench spade, several bombs, torpedoes, hand-grenades, trench mortar type), by J. C. Geer '18 (pictures of war scenes in Siberia), by Dr. McLean (hand grenade), by W. B. Richardson (four hand grenades) , by E. A. Terhune '17, Talbot, J. B. Kellock '20, Donald MacKenzie '21 of the Tufts Ambulance Unit, and a German Flag and war posters from France and Germany secured through Dean Anthony from Raymond Bon of the Tufts Engineering School. The flag was one which formerly flew over the Kaiser's War College on the Rhine and was taken down at the time of the march of YD, 26th Division, through Engers.

Undergraduate and Alumni and Alumnae organizations of Tufts collaborated in obtaining items for the collection.

Related Material
  • Arthur Irving Andrews Papers, 1911 -- 1978. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.
  • Melville S. Munro papers, 1858-1959. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Series Description

  1. Museum cabinet artifacts, 1813 -- 1935

    This series contains objects from and artifact cabinet found in the Ballou vault in summer 2010. These artifacts were originally part of the collection of the Tufts University Museum of War and most of them are from Germany and France. The majority of these artifacts are from World War I, and include bronze medallions commemorating battles and events; uniform accessories including buttons, shoulder straps, ribbons, cockades and pins; shrapnel; lighters; and jewelry. A number of these artifacts still have their original museum labels attached. These provide colloquial descriptions of the items and their origins. The artifact cabinet also included a rock collection of unknown relation and origin, which was included in this series because one of the items was a shard of a stained window of Chartre Cathedral. Specific descriptions of individual relics can be found in the notes field at the item level.

    Artifacts were kept together and described by cabinet tray. If necessary, individual cataloging can be done in the future.

  2. Museum artifacts, posters and bonds, 1914 -- 1918

    This series includes World War I artifacts donated to the museum. Bonds and Posters from World War I in the artifact collection were reassigned to this series because they most likely had been part of the original collection, contemporary Tufts Weekly articles report of such items, and because the AC collection is not provenance-based..

  3. World War I photographs and postcards

    This series includes postcards and photographs collected by Thomas Whittemore during World War I. Were likely part of the Tufts War Museum. Index refers to Italian postcards which are currently missing. They were removed from Memory Books collection in October 2011.