About This Exhibit:

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American Archives Month raises public awareness about the importance of historic documents and records in archives and special collections.  The theme for 2011 is “I Found it in the Archives!,” highlighting discoveries of families, heritage, and treasures in each institution’s collections.

In the aftermath of WWII, individual French citizens donated enough gifts to fill 49 boxcars, which were then shipped to the United States. Each state received a boxcar from the “Merci Train,” with Hawaii (then a territory) and Washington, D.C., sharing one. A selection of the gifts from Delaware’s boxcar were given directly to the University. Over time the whereabouts of many of the “Merci Train” gifts have been lost, but three of Delaware’s gifts remain in the holdings of the University of Delaware Library’s Special Collections Department (MSS 440). On display are three manuscripts of local history and geography produced by A. Carriere of Millau, Aveyron, France, as well as a letter expressing the thanks of the author and the people of that region.

This single case exhibition was originally on display in the Morris Library Information Room from October 4-31, 2011.

Tags: World War, 1939-1945; Gifts; United States–Foreign relations–France