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World War II San Diego State College Servicemen's Correspondence Collection

Identifier: MS-0369

Scope and Contents

This collection, also [url=]available online[/url], consists of ten boxes of correspondence received from servicemen, servicewomen, and their families during the Second World War. The collection contains letters sent to Lauren Post for his information in compiling the San Diego State College Service Men's News Letter, which later changed its name to The Aztec News Letter. Many of the letters contain red pencil markings, indicating that a specific line or paragraph was to be included in the newsletter. By the end of the War, The Aztec News Letter was circulated to over 3,000 service and homefront readers.

The collection has over 5,000 individual letters, the vast majority handwritten originals, arranged chronologically by year then alphabetically within folders according to the last name of the author. Some letters with no dates, partial or unreadable names, or that were unsigned are at the end of the collection. A full run of the Aztec News Letter is also part of the collection. The News Letter is available online by year: 1942, 1943, 1944, 1945, 1946. Also of interest in the collection is a World War II servicemen's guest book. Between 1943 and 1945, the guest book was kept in the campus cafeteria so that returning servicemen could sign the guest book and write short messages about their experiences abroad and about their happiness returning to campus.

A comprehensive database of the correspondence has been prepared with searchable fields, including Last Name, First Name, Date, Location, Keywords, Notes, and Letter Content Description.


  • Creation: 1941-1946


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical or Historical Information

A native of Rayne, Louisiana, Lauren Post was professor of geography at San Diego State from 1937-1969. He was educated at the University of California and Louisiana State University, and taught at San Francisco State and at Louisiana State before coming to San Diego State. Post is remembered for his Aztec News Letter in which he corresponded with Aztec servicemen and women during World War II. Immediately after Pearl Harbor and as the War progressed, Aztec students were soon scattered all over the globe, disconnected and separated from their college, their friends, their loved ones, and their former lives. In the spring of 1942, Dr. Post, a veteran of World War I, decided to try a "news service experiment" intended to provide information about the locations of current and former Aztecs dispersed around the world. The Aztec News Letter thus became a crucial lifeline throughout the War for Aztec servicemen and women facing difficulty and danger wherever they were stationed. Lauded as one of the first of its kind in the nation, the Aztec News Letter premiered in May of 1942 and was released monthly until its 48th issue in March of 1946. By then, The Aztec News Letter circulated to more than 3,000 service and home front readers. The project and the letters that made it possible would forever characterize the Aztec spirit during wartime. Not only are the letters historically significant; they also offer a unique perspective about San Diego State during a global crisis.


4.59 Linear Feet

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Related Materials

John Adams Papers, 1919-1987 (Series 4: Personal)
Lauren C. Post Papers, 1917-1977 Omega Xi Newsletter, 1943-1945 (Uncataloged Periodicals, Series: University Archives)
The Aztec News Letter, 1942-1946

World War II San Diego State College Servicemen's Correspondence Collection
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US