San Mateo County Genealogical Society's Blog featuring society events, projects, meeting notes and other items of relevance to genealogists.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Hoover Institution Archives - Part 2 of a series on local archives

As the Menlo Park Monday class continues our investigation of archives in the area, we have come across a few which seem to be little known to genealogists, yet which store a fantastic collection of resources.  Well, it depends on what you are researching.

Hoover Institution

The Hoover Institution is right here in our backyard on the Stanford campus.  There are several repositories here: the main archives, which extends underground right under Hoover Tower (yes), the library with open shelves, which is normally in the tower but is undergoing renovation right now, the exhibit space in a separate building which has rotating exhibits of historical interest, and the institution itself, which provides space for researchers from around the world.

To quote from their website: "Today, the Library & Archives that bear Hoover’s name boast nearly one million volumes and more than six thousand archival collections—in sixty-nine languages from more than one hundred fifty countries—pertaining to war, revolution, and peace in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The Institution's resources support a vibrant international community of scholars and a broad public interested in the meaning and role of history."

Our class went to visit a couple of weeks ago and were met by one of the research librarians who introduced us to some of the more interesting holdings in their collections.
Jean Cannon, Hoover archivist, gave us a most interesting tour of the archives and Vietnam photo exhibition.

We met at the steps to Hoover Tower.  Most of us took the Marguerite shuttle, which stops right in front.

Founded by Herbert Hoover in 1919, the Hoover Institution Library & Archives are dedicated to documenting war, revolution, and peace in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries

 Some of the items on display:  the orders to drop the bomb (lunch first), letters from Chiang Kai-shek, photos of Mao, KGB mug books, a piece of the Lusitania, a skull X-Ray (don't ask).

Joseph Warren Stilwell was a United States Army general who served in the China Burma India Theater during World War II. His caustic personality was reflected in the nickname "Vinegar Joe". Distrust of his Allies and a lack of resources meant Stilwell was continually forced to improvise. 

John McCain, shot down in Hanoi.  American hero.   Mug Book kept by KGB agents.  

WE SHOT THE WAR: OVERSEAS WEEKLY IN VIETNAM   Rarely seen photographs take center stage for the Hoover Library & Archives’ new exhibition We Shot the War: Overseas Weekly in Vietnam

The archives are open to the public.  Registration and a photo ID are required.  Materials allowed are similar to other restricted archives.

Margaret Melaney and the
Trinity Monday Genealogy Club

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