World War I "filleuls de guerre" letters sent to Mary M. Engel
Language of Materials
Conditions Governing Access
This collection is not housed at the Houghton Library but is shelved offsite at the Harvard Depository. Retrieval requires advance notice. Readers should check with Houghton Public Services staff to determine what material is offsite and retrieval policies and times.
Extent6 linear feet (14 boxes)
There are only a few letters from Engel to the servicemen, and there is a letter in English from an American concerning one soldier and her efforts on his behalf. A few letters from others to servicemen are included. Many folders also contain notes in French kept by Engel on each soldier, specifying where the man was stationed, his rank, the dates he wrote, what goods were sent to him and when, and other details. Many notes include the names of an American correspondent assisting the man. Some notes record that the soldier was deceased and the location of his death.
Biographical / Historical
Mrs. René Engel [Mary M. Engel] served as a war godmother from 1914 to 1919 from the addresses of 58 rue Lhomond, Paris, France and 38 Avenue du Petit Parc 38, Vincennes (Seine), France. It is not clear from this collection whether Madame Engel only coordinated the "godmother" letters from others, some from Americans, or also wrote them herself.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Part of the MS Storage project, 2008-2009.
- Engel, Mary M., recipient. World War I "filleuls de guerre" letters sent to Mary M. Engel, 1914-1919: Guide.
- Houghton Library, Harvard College Library
- Description rules
- EAD ID
Part of the Houghton Library Repository
Houghton Library is Harvard College's principal repository for rare books and manuscripts, literary and performing arts archives, and more. The library's holdings of primary source material are managed by an expert staff and shared with scholars, students and the public in the reading room.
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