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William V.S. Tubman Papers, 1904-1992

Administrative Information

Due to the sensitivity of the content, some documents have been removed. Records withdrawn include personal letters, school report cards and medical reports. Targets have been placed at the points where these documents were removed to inform the user of intentional gaps in the collection.
Preferred Citation
[item], William V.S. Tubman Papers. [Microfilm]. Bloomington, IN: Liberian Collections, Indiana University Libraries, 2008.
Copyright Transferred
Copyright interests for this collection have not been transferred to the Trustees of Indiana University. Ownership of the W.V.S. Tubman papers and applicable copyrights are held solely by the family of W.V.S. Tubman. The copyright for correspondence other than that of W.V.S. Tubman in this collection resides with the writer of the said letters. It is the responsibility of all users to seek the applicable permissions of all writers or their heirs, prior to citing, quoting, or publishing from this correspondence in a way that can identify the writers.

Users seeking permissions prior to citing, quoting, or publishing from this correspondence in a way that can identify the writer may consult the Liberian Collections Project at Indiana University for guidance in contacting the copyright owners.

Custodial History
William V.S. Tubman accumulated the bulk of these personal papers and government documents during his presidency (1944-1971). Additional materials date from his pre-presidential life and career and a few documents were added posthumously by staff or family. After his death, the materials were transferred from the Liberian Executive Mansion in Monrovia to the Tubman Memorial Museum on the family estate in Bong County. In 1979, Mrs. Antoinette Louise Padmore Tubman, widow of the late President W.V.S. Tubman, commissioned Dr. Christopher Clapham, then a Senior Lecturer in Africa Studies at the University of Lancaster, to examine and classify the papers and to make recommendations as to the display, storage, preservation and access to the remaining papers. The papers were stored in the estate’s basement library after the Museum closed in the 1980s.

The materials remained in the estate library, but in deteriorating conditions. In 2003, during Liberia’s civil war, soldiers rummaged through the file cabinets in search of valuables, tossing folders and papers onto the floor and leaving them exposed to damage in Liberia’s tropical climate. In 2005, the materials were retrieved ―as is‖ from the library and shipped to the E. Lingle Craig Preservation Laboratory atIndiana University where they were deep frozen at -10º F to stop mold growth and exterminate insects. Conservators then cleaned, flattened and disinfected the documents, preserving the original order when possible. From 2005–2008 Liberian Collections Project archivists sorted the materials, restoring, when possible, the filing order described by Dr. Christopher Clapham and the Liberian Executive Office filing guidelines.

Following the organization phase, the collection was microfilmed in 2008. The complete physical collection of the President W.V.S. Tubman Papers will be moved to Liberia whenever the Tubman family requests the shipment. Until then the collection will be stored at Indiana University.

Processed By
Colleen McCorkell, Megan MacDonald, Lois Sabo-Skelton with assistance from Emily Symonds, Rose Marie Walter, Eric Holt, Darchelle Switzky, Jennifer Albano, Denise Dalphond, Andrea Bertrand, Bergis Jules and Shane Tucker.
Numbering for Records Cartons (Boxes) and Microfilms:In the following content list, the box number of each record carton containing the physical papers is indicated as well as the reel number of each microfilm. There are 21 boxes of papers, numbered Box 1 through Box 21, and 47 microfilm reels, numbered InU 3P–1070.01 through 1070.47. (The restricted materials constitute an additional box and microfilm reel of materials.)

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