Collection Scope and Content Note
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Collection consists of correspondence with family, friends, literary and other public figures, pertaining to his career as an author and his varied humanitarian concerns; much of the correspondence between 1939 and 1942 deals with refugees from Nazi persecution and van Loon's participation in war relief fund raising and committees.
Also included are condolence letters received after Hendrik's death. A substantial portion of the papers are comprised of manuscripts for many of his books and their illustrative materials in pen-and-ink, pencil, and watercolors. There are many sketchbooks and miscellaneous sketches as well as those for the publications. Other documents include a manuscript of his Ph.D. in German, notes for a history course taught at Cornell, manuscripts for radio broadcasts (1935-42), articles by and about van Loon,including a recollection by John L. De Forest; phonograph records, photographs, picture puzzles, foreign language editions of his books, reviews, menus, the Newberry Medal which was presented to him at the meeting of The American Library Association in 1921, an unfinished portrait by the painter Leon Gordon, his and Helen Criswell van Loon's ("Jimmie's") passports, and pamphlets
from the Cunard Cruise Ship FRANCONIA. Documenting his activities in literary circles in New York City are copies of MAD HATTER MUTTERINGS, 1920-21, which were satirical journals circulated in the Greenwich Village coffee shop where "Jimmie" worked and later became the owner; also included are her diaries, 1920-54; and Gerard Willem van Loon's correspondence and draft copies for his book about Hendrik. Includes a film and a video. Correspondents include Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, George Lincoln Burr, and others.
Letters from van Loon in America to the Netherlands commenting on the general atmosphere in wartime America (box 74).
Twenty-one drawings from late 1930's and 1940's.