Discovery of Harry Truman Letter

truman This week, Director Kelly Jacobsma and Lauren Ferin ’12, who are working on a project with the Richard Wunder collection, discovered a letter signed by President Harry Truman from 1947. The letter is a brief thank-you note to NBC radio newsman Earl Godwin, for his Christmas gift of two dozen cans of pumpkin. It is accompanied by a receipt from the reputable Walter R. Benjamin Autographs company, verifying its authenticity. For more information about Earl Godwin’s radio work, see this article from Time Magazine, also available in print at Van Wylentruman1.

Lauren is sorting through materials from the Richard Wunder estate, donated to the library in in 2003. This summer we are focusing on the research materials that Wunder collected while writing a book about American sculptor Hiram Powers, as well as Wunder’s personal correspondence. Richard was an art scholar, a fascinating individual and a consummate collector.

truman2As a part of her first impressions of working with the collection, Lauren commented, “This man kept everything, and it’s all so organized!” We never know what we might find among his personal and research papers that will be valuable or of scholarly interest.

Many of Richards papers will be added to the college archives. For more information on Hope’s special collections, see the web-pages of Van Wylen’s Rare Book Room and the Joint Archives of Holland.

— Jessica Hronchek, librarian, and Kelly Jacobsma, director of libraries

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