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George S. Brooks Collection

An inventory of his collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Brooks, George Sprague, b. 1895.
Title: George S. Brooks Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1918-1961
Bulk Dates: 1918-1920
Quantity: 2 folders (SC)
Abstract: Memorabilia from Brooks' months as an American soldier and student at the University of Poitiers. Brooks was one of 249 American soldiers -- both officers and enlisted men -- who briefly attended the University of Poitiers (halfway between Paris and Bordeaux) as full-time students in 1919 after having fought on the Western Front. All but one item date from 1918-1920.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

George S. Brooks was a playwright, author, editor and lecturer whose work appeared frequently in the Saturday Evening Post. He served in the United States Army in World War I, and was one of a group of 249 American soldiers -- both officers and enlisted men -- who briefly attended the University of Poitiers as full-time students in 1919 after having fought on the Western Front. The University of Poitiers is one of France's oldest universities, founded in 1431. The Poitiers group was part of a larger experiment involving soldier-students at 15 other French universities as well as the Universities of London, Edinburgh, Oxford, and Cambridge. The experiment foreshadows later efforts on behalf of veterans' education such as the G.I. Bill of 1944 and subsequent programs.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The George S. Brooks Collection consists of correspondence and memorabilia. Correspondence contains a bound letter book with letters from Brooks to various family members; the letters discuss camp life, maneuvers, and the declaration of peace on November 12, 1918 as well as his experiences in Poitiers as a student. Memorabilia includes playbills, copies of the American student newspaper Les Beaux Jours, and assorted other items. Also included is a photocopy of a three-page letter headed Les Beaux Jours, 1961 Edition which gives names, addresses, and career updates for many of the American students. The letter is signed with the initials "HST."

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Arrangement of the Collection

Items are in no particular order.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Brooks, George Sprague, b. 1895.

Corporate Bodies

United States. -- Army. -- American Expeditionary Forces.
Université de Poitiers.


Soldiers -- Education, Non-military -- France.
Soldiers -- United States -- Correspondence.
Universities and colleges -- France -- Poitiers.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Campaigns -- Western Front.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Correspondence.


Poitiers (France) -- Universities and colleges.

Genres and Forms

Letter books.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

George S. Brooks Collection
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: LDC
Date: 6 May 2009
Revision history:

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SC 325 Letter book 26 Feb 1918-24 Apr 1919
SC 325 Université de Poitiers 1919-1920, 1961 - includes a playbill, diploma (photostat), alumni magazine, newspaper clipping, banquet menu and invitation, and a bound set of 12 issues of Les Beaux Jours newsletter. Also included is a three-page letter dated 1961 giving historical context.

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