William V.S. Tubman Papers, 1904-1992
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withdrawn include personal letters, school report cards and medical reports.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.
[item], William V.S. Tubman Papers. [Microfilm]. Bloomington, IN: Liberian Collections,
University Libraries, 2008.
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
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.
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
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.
Numbering for Records Cartons (Boxes) and Microfilms:
Colleen McCorkell, Megan MacDonald,
Lois Sabo-Skelton with assistance from Emily
Rose Marie Walter, Eric Holt,
Andrea Bertrand, Bergis Jules and
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.)