Collection Scope and Content Note
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Correspondence and printed material relating to fingerprinting, the history of
fingerprinting in the United States, crime, and the International Society for Personal
Identification. Also includes correspondence with J. Edgar Hoover. Photographs
(originally used as lantern slides in lectures) about the Bertillon method of criminal
investigation, including a portrait of Alphonse Bertillon. Also, material pertaining to
Columbia University and Cornell University; vacation journals and memorabilia;
correspondence with and about Clinton Scollard; photographs of friends at Fulton, New
York; clippings and correspondence concerning World War II, the Explorers' Club, and his
medical practice. Also contains material concerning his pilgrimages to the shrines of
St. Joseph du Mont-Royal, Our Lady of Lourdes, and St. Anne de Beaupre and a set of
bookplates he designed for the Cornell Club library and other individuals and libraries.
Correspondence with classmates, other class secretaries, and Cornell University
officials, photographs, newspaper clippings, and other printed material (59 volumes)
concerning the activities and deaths of the members of the Class of 1884 and the "Early
Eighties," a group of 1880-1889 class members; reunions of the Class of 1884, especially
its 45th, 50th, 52nd, 55th, and 60th; the Class of 1884 fund; alumni trusteeship
candidacies, annual Cornell dinners, and other events and business of interest to
alumni; the Cornell Association of Class Secretaries; and "The Story of Cornell"
bookplate, designed by De Forest and intended for use in a proposed historical
department of the Cornell University Library to be known as "The Story of Cornell."
Also, vital statistics (1 vol.) of class members. In addition to de Forest's
correspondence with classmates, there is scattered correspondence with Carl L. Becker,
John Henry Comstock, Simon Henry Gage, Hu Shih, and Howard A. Stevenson, editor of the
Cornell Alumni News. (41-4-833, 41-4-1282)
A composite of mug shots, Bertillon measurements and fingerprints of Will West and
William West, an infamous case that showed the importance of a fingerprint system over
the Bertillon system (1901-1904)
Also one Cornell banner.