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Tufts War Museum Collection

Call Number: UA208

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a few of the war-related artifacts from the original Tufts War museum established after World War I. Materials include photographs, including tintypes; postcards; fossils, shells, and stones; coins; memorabilia; posters; and other artifacts.


  • 1813 -- 1935
  • Majority of material found within 1900 -- 1928


Language of Materials



This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.


This collection is organized in three series: Museum cabinet artifacts; Museum artifacts, posters and bonds; and World War I Photographs and Postcards.

Related Materials

Arthur Irving Andrews Papers, 1911 -- 1978. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Melville S. Munro papers, 1858-1959. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.


4.08 Linear Feet (6 boxes, 1 oversized folder)

Biographical / Historical

According to a 1920 Tufts Weekly article, Professor Arthur Irving Andrews, head of the Department of History and Public Law, founded the Tufts War Museum in 1919.

The Tufts War Relics Museum, also known as the Tufts War Museum or Tufts College War Relics Museum, was originally and temporarily set up in the library at Ballou Hall with Ms. Hayes acting as custodian and Dr. A. I. Andrews, professor of history and public law, as curator. Tufts students, alumni and alumni and alumnae organizations, and faculty donated items (primarily from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, and Russia) and the US War Department provided military transportation service for shipping items from Europe to Tufts.

In November 1919, a special exhibit of the Tufts War Museum was set up in Ballou Hall (third floor) in connection with the meetings of the Tufts College Teachers' Association and the New England History Association on the Hill. It is currently unknown how long the museum actually existed.

Custodial History

This collection was created after finding two wooden artifact boxes in the vault of Ballou Hall in 2010. The artifacts and their labels indicated that they had once belonged to the Tufts War Relics Museum, also known as the Tufts War Museum or Tufts College War Relics Museum, about whose existence DCA had only known through Tufts Weekly articles from 1919-1920. Upon transfer to DCA and further research into the original contents of the collection, WWI posters were moved from the AC collection to this collection.

Most of the original museum artifacts are still missing: according to contemporary articles, the museum included collections sent by Dr. Arthur Irving Andrews (including a section of the barbed wire used in the defenses of the famous fort at Douaumont, shells from Verdum, lead bullets, stones from the Verdun battle field, two horsechestnuts from a tree which though badly scarred was still alive in Verdun), Professor A. C. Lane, Professor H. V. Neal (most likely the Y. M. C. A. material given his service during the war), Dr. W. F. Waytt (including Austrian and Italian helmets, an Austrian trench spade, several bombs, torpedoes, hand-grenades, trench mortar type), by J. C. Geer '18 (pictures of war scenes in Siberia), by Dr. McLean (hand grenade), by W. B. Richardson (four hand grenades) , by E. A. Terhune '17, Talbot, J. B. Kellock '20, Donald MacKenzie '21 of the Tufts Ambulance Unit, and a German Flag and war posters from France and Germany secured through Dean Anthony from Raymond Bon of the Tufts Engineering School. The flag was one which formerly flew over the Kaiser's War College on the Rhine and was taken down at the time of the march of YD, 26th Division, through Engers.

Undergraduate and Alumni and Alumnae organizations of Tufts collaborated in obtaining items for the collection.

Processing status

This collection is processed.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States