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Guide to the Papers of Leonard Larsen
  MS 365

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400

@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Processed by Peter Asch

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on October 26, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

The Leonard Larsen Papers, 1942-1945, consist of 2 linear feet of material. The bulk of the papers date from 1943 and 1945 and consist primarily of personal correspondence, but also includes stamps, coupons, newsletters, and other printed materials. The collection documents the Larsen Family during World War II, particularly during Leonard's service from October 1942 until the end of 1945. In addition to documenting Leonard's Army experience, the collection provides insight into the Homefront during World War II. Topics such as rationing, the hiring of women factory workers and their firing following the conclusion of the war, and the war's impact on the citizens of Buffalo are extensively covered. The first half, late 1942 until end of 1943, is mainly composed of letters from Helen Larsen to Leonard, who is away at Army Warrant Officer training, following his October 1942 enlistment. The year 1944 is extremely underrepresented, but regular correspondence resumed in 1945. Leonard Larsen while overseas in Germany and France until November 1945 wrote the majority of the latter part of the collection. There also are an additional sixteen individuals who corresponded with Helen Larsen, predominantly her brother, John Broder, and a serviceman in the Pacific, Walter Overfield.


Correspondence within the first series is arranged chronologically, and correspondence in the second series is organized alphabetically by sender. The third series is arranged alphabetically by folder name. Undated or fragmented letters can be found at the end of series. A number of damaged letters were removed for treatment and can be found at the end of series three.

The documents have been arranged into three series.

  1. Series I: Correspondence Between Leonard and Helen Larsen, 1942-1945
  2. Series II: Other Correspondents, 1942-1945
  3. Series III: Clippings, Coupons, Poetry, and Other Enclosures, 1942-1945