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Robert M. Briggs Papers

Identifier: MS-0453

Scope and Contents

The Robert M. Briggs Papers (1943-2004) document Brigg's military duty during the Second World War and his paintings and personal writings. Highlights include Briggs' scrapbook of photographs, newspaper clippings, sketches, and watercolors of fellow servicemen, local Okinawans, landscapes, and battleships during World War II.  Briggs drew many of the sketches rapidly while under enemy fire and painted them in later.  Filed alphabetically, the collection consists of newspaper clippings, photographs, sketches, watercolors, poems, essays about WWII and the Rocky Mountains, and an interview with Kathy Neal, Special Collections Librarian, discussing his experiences during WWII.  The majority of materials date from 1943-1945.


  • Creation: 1943-2004
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1943-1945


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 Note

Robert M. Briggs was born and raised in Colorado. While in high school he worked as a ranger for the Rocky Mountain National Park. At 19, Briggs joined the military and worked as a sharpshooter and communications sergeant during the Second World War. He was stationed primarily in the Pacific Theatre, where he made sketches and watercolors of other servicemen, battleships, local people, and landscapes. Many of his sketches were displayed in the mess hall and at the Officer's Club. Briggs also painted insignias on military planes, including the insignia on Bockscar, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki. After returning from the Pacific, Briggs received a master of arts from Stanford University, and later obtained a doctorate of education from the Colorado State College of Education. In 1957, he became a professor of secondary education at San Diego State University where he taught for nearly thirty years, retiring in 1985. Briggs passed away in 2005.


0.38 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Source of Acquisition

Robert M. Briggs

Accruals and Additions

2005-059. Additions were made on January 26, 2005.

Related Materials

World War II San Diego State College Servicemen's Correspondence Collection, 1941-1945

Military Order of the World Wars, San Diego Chapter Records, 1949-2002

Leonard Fierro Papers, 1927-1995

Haakon Maurice Chevalier Diary, 1945-1946

Kramer J. Rohfleisch Papers, 1935-1945

World War II German Manuscript Collection, 1937-1945

Hitler Memorabilia Collection, 1932-1977

Robert M. Briggs Papers
Amanda Lanthorne
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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