Archives and Special Collections
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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note


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Title: Arthur Batcheller papers
Dates:1888-1977 (bulk 1913-1955)
Call Number:M12

Scope and Content Note

The Arthur Batcheller papers document his personal and professional life. The collection is divided into two series: personal and professional. Within the personal series, there are four subseries: general, photography, dance, and films.

The personal series, subseries A, general, consists of documents relating to Batcheller's family genealogy (box 1, folders 2-4), education (box 1, folders 6, 10-11, 14-16, 58) and accomplishments (box 1, folder 1). The photography subseries consists of correspondence regarding admission into photography clubs and exam sheets for Batcheller's photography license (box 1, folder 17), and photographs (boxes 4-8) taken both by Batcheller and other photographers. Those images that Batcheller took are identified by his stamp on the back. The photographers of most of the remaining photographs are unknown. The topics of the photographs include family and friends, railroads, radio, actresses, and dancers. Many of the photographs, especially those of dancers and actresses, are unidentified.

The dance subseries includes 13 ballet slippers (boxes 9-10) of which 8 are autographed (with recognizable signatures), 3 of which are unsigned and 2 of which are unidentified. A complete list of the dancer's names (as supplied by Batcheller) is located in the collections control file. The film subseries consists of 31 16 mm films. The films (boxes 11-12) are on various topics including World War II news reels, the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I, and fables.

The professional series incorporates written documents that relate to Batcheller's career in radio telegraphy. Included are annual reports of the Second Radio District from 1916-1939 (box 2, folders 30-33), technical pamphlets (box 2, folders 41-42), correspondence (box 2, folders 23-29) and yearbooks from the Veterans Wireless Operators Association (box 2, folders 52-53). He received correspondence from a wide range of sources, including the Department of Commerce, the Department of Navigation, and President Herbert Hoover. There are professional pamphlets on radio equipment and technology including some which Batcheller wrote.

The personal correspondence in series one and the professional correspondence in series two contain many undated and incomplete letters. Some of the correspondence that is neither to nor from Batcheller relates to employees who worked under him or concerns his radio investigations. According to Batcheller, material in the professional series is comprised of copies, the originals of which were destroyed by the Federal Communications Commission.