United States Pharmacopeial Convention Records, 1819-2005 (bulk 1900-2005)

Container Title
Mss 89/Micro 535
Part 1 (Mss 89, Micro 535): Original Collection, 1914-1919
Physical Description: 4 archives boxes and 6 reels of microfilm (35 mm) 
Scope and Content Note

These papers are rich in information about World War I in Europe and the effects of the war in this country. The collection is especially valuable because Rice served in Europe from nearly a year before the United States officially entered the war until after the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The papers include his incoming and outgoing correspondence; a notebook he kept while attending the French Army Automobile School; war-related general correspondence of his parents; a file of his parents' papers regarding their work for Belgian relief; and a few clippings assembled by the elder Rices concerning their son's military service and their own relief work.

Rice's outgoing correspondence covers the period he actually was away from home and is addressed exclusively to his parents. Included are the original letters and also typed extracts of some letters which his parents prepared and sent to friends and relatives. In these letters Rice comments on his own experiences; the effects of the war on France, Belgium, and England; and the work of the AAFS, the Red Cross, and other war-related organizations. His observations range from philosophical reflections on death to practical dealings with sometimes over-indulgent parents. More common, however, is general information on conditions in war-time France and Belgium including economic conditions, transportation, and the attitudes of the people. Letters written during the peace conference are particularly significant. Rice was involved in translating French newspaper articles for American officials and wrote extensively to his parents on conditions and attitudes revealed in the French press. He viewed President Wilson as “the hope of the world,” while his original respect and admiration for the French turned nearly to contempt as they tried to gain revenge against Germany through the peace settlement.

The incoming letters are primarily from Rice's parents, but also include correspondence from the AAFS, letters from Rosamond Eliot, whom he married after the war, and letters from acquaintances and relatives in the United States and Europe. Most notable in this portion of the collection is the picture of the war's effect on the home front. Rice's parents were deeply involved in war-related activities ranging from folding bandages for the Red Cross to fund raising for various relief efforts. The letters vividly show the war's effect on a socially prominent, well-to-do family. Their commitment to the war effort is reflected as they “Hooverized” by restricting auto travel and altering their diets. At times, however, a social context of the volunteer work also shows through, as though some activities were undertaken because that was “the thing to do” in the circles in which the elder Rices moved. The letters also contain family news and comments on major domestic issues of the period, including prohibition, women's suffrage, and the 1916 presidential election.

The general correspondence of Mr. and Mrs. Rice spans the years 1914-1919. Most of the letters are incoming, although there are occasional copies of outgoing correspondence. Included are general letters from friends and relatives in the United States; letters from relatives in Holland, and acquaintances in England and France which reveal war-time conditions in those countries; and correspondence regarding various war-related projects in which the Rices were involved. This last category includes information on fund raising, meetings, and general activities for the following organizations: the Fatherless Children of France, the Albany War Chest, Bien Entre du Blesse, the Red Cross, the Children's Tin Box Fund, and the American Friends of Musicians in France.

The organization in which the Rices were most active was the Commission for Relief in Belgium (CRB), whose chairman was Herbert Hoover. Papers concerning the CRB and other Belgian projects are filed separately from the general correspondence. Mrs. Rice apparently coordinated CRB fund raising efforts in the Albany area. The papers contain correspondence with CRB officials and with individual contributors, press releases, newsletters, and lists of contributors and contributions.

This original portion of the William Gorham Rice Jr. papers were microfilmed due to the extreme physical deterioration of a large portion of the collection. The effects of mold, rust stains, and faded ink have rendered some letters nearly illegible; numerous others are partially obliterated. All letters have been filmed flat despite the fact that much of the stationery was designed to be folded and read like a book. Consequently pages one and four generally appear on the first frame, while pages two and three are on the following frame.

Subseries: William Gorham Rice Jr. Papers
Reel   1
Box/Folder   1/1
Biographical materials
Outgoing correspondence
Reel   1
Box/Folder   1/2
Reel   1
Box/Folder   1/3
1917 January-June
Reel   1
Box/Folder   1/4
1917 July-December
Reel   1
Box/Folder   1/5
Reel   2
Box/Folder   1/6
Incoming correspondence
Reel   2
Box/Folder   1/7
1916 January-August
Reel   2
Box/Folder   2/1
1916 September-1916 December
Reel   3
Box/Folder   2/2-5
1917 January-1918 June
Reel   4
Box/Folder   2/6
1918 July-October
Reel   4
Box/Folder   3/1
1918 November-December
Reel   4
Box/Folder   3/2
1919 January-March
Reel   4
Box/Folder   3/3
1919 August-September
Reel   4
Box/Folder   3/4
Reel   4
Box/Folder   3/5
Notebook, 1918 March-April
Subseries: Mr. and Mrs. William Gorham Rice Sr. Papers
General correspondence
Reel   5
Box/Folder   3/6
1914 September-1916 December
Reel   5
Box/Folder   3/7
1917 January-July
Reel   5
Box/Folder   3/8
1917 August 1-15
Reel   5
Box/Folder   4/1
1917 August 20-31
Reel   6
Box/Folder   4/2
1917 September-December
Reel   6
Box/Folder   4/3
Reel   6
Box/Folder   4/4
1919, undated
Reel   6
Box/Folder   4/5
Belgium Relief Correspondence
Reel   6
Box/Folder   4/6
Reel   6
Box/Folder   4/7
1918-1919 October
Reel   6
Clippings, 1916 September-1919