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World War II Collection

Identifier: 0000-0024

Scope and Content Note

The World War II Collection is housed in three archival boxes and five oversized folders. Six series have been designated for War Training, War Administration, Publications, Veterans, Faculty, and Miscellaneous. This collection includes correspondence, newspaper clippings, charts, published items, travel materials, pamphlets, posters, meeting minutes, photos, government bills, telegrams and reports. The collection details the development of CIT's involvement with the Department of Defense, dating from 1939 and continuing in the post war years, both in terms of scientific training and in terms of collaboration with the military.

The depth of administrative and logistical correspondence relating to the ESMWT program and its corresponding administrative body, the Engineering War Manpower Commission, is a particular strongpoint, while substantial gaps exist in the material relating to the Navy training program and the ROTC, of which the latter mainly addresses details of deferment. Correspondence relating to veterans' affairs is particularly thorough relating to CIT's alumni relations and to the development of the GI Bill, but lacks detail on the use of the G.I. Bill on CIT campus.

The information for some series may seem to overlap; however, the series designations reflect the overall content of the material and address several facets of CIT's involvement in World War II.


  • Majority of material found within Bulk, 1940-1946
  • 1939-1995


None .


Demand for technically and scientifically trained military personnel, exacerbated by the increasing use of advanced scientific ballistic materials and the grand scale of the axis offensive in World War II resurrected partnerships between the United States Military and institutions of higher education across the United States. In the case of Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT), a long-term defense industries partnership resulted in solidifying CIT's stature as a leading technical and scientific educational institution. During World War II, President Doherty put CIT at the government's disposal and these defense initiatives soon became the main educational focus of the university. Likewise, CIT's faculty and administration headed high level administrative and scientific training program boards, classified scientific research projects such as the Manhattan Project, and fortified CIT's affiliation with the defense industry.

Established within the Office of Emergency Management on April 18, 1942, the War Manpower Commission designated the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP), the Engineering, Science Management and War Training Program (ESMWT), and the Navy Program as training programs on colleges and universities throughout the country and made special use of CIT facilities. In addition to housing and training enlistees, who at the peak numbered over 1,900 military personnel enrolled in programs on CIT's campus, from April 1943 to September 1944, all excess education facilities were at the disposal of the War Department.

The United States Army established the ASTP in December 1942 for academically gifted enlisted men meeting stringent testing requirement. Those accepted into the program at CIT received training in Basic Engineering, Advanced Engineering, and Foreign Area and Language. By 1943, more than one half of the instruction being given at CIT was that providing for men in uniform assigned to the ASTP. The program was disbanded in 1944 in response to the impending invasion of Normandy.

The ESMWT, formerly the Engineering Defense Training Program, was established on June 22, 1940 with the Congressional allotment of fifteen million dollars to the Federal Security Agency of the US Office of Education to provide free engineering training and occupational deferment of military service for those in training or in preparation for activities necessary for national defense. Directed by CIT's own Professor C. B. Stanton, the ESMWT program was particularly popular and a total of 12,089 men and women received engineering training at CIT while it was offered. By the fall of 1942, deferment was only available to those students whose studies had already reached a certain point. In response, enrollment numbers quickly dropped and CIT instituted a continuous three semester program. The Engineering Defense Training Program was opened to women and many women enrolled in these courses. Postwar enrollment in engineering training boomed and CIT saw many Veterans living in temporary barracks on campus.

In addition to the ASTP and the ESMWT, both the Navy and the Reserve Officer's Training Corps (ROTC) utilized tech's campus. ROTC experienced deferment fluctuations similar to the ESMWT program as the juniors sent to officers Candidate School in 1943 were allowed to return to CIT later the same year, only to be called to active duty in late 1944.

CIT's faculty participated readily in the efforts to promote national defenses, both on campus and while working on secret research projects. During the peak of the training efforts, at least half of the male faculty devoted their efforts to the war defense effort. Furthermore, many CIT faculty members headed top-secret military research projects such as the Manhattan District Project. Dr. Seitz, Dr. Warner, Dr. G. Derge, Dr. Robert Mauer, Dr. O.C. Simpson, Dr. Edward Creutz, and Dr. Claud R. Schwob all held top level positions in the development of the atom bomb and also worked at CIT. Dr. Webster N. Jones and Dr. Warren L. McCabe both served as experts on the Baruch Committee to study wartime rubber development, while Dr. C. C. Monrad became the principle chemical engineer for the project. Dr. R. F. Mehl, director of CIT's Metals research lab was a member of the War Metallurgy Committee of the National Defense Committee. Professor Stanton was the Director of the ESMWT program. Additionally, CIT President Robert E. Doherty served as a member of the Advisory Committee to the ASTP, a member of the Advisory Committee to the ESMWT, a member of the Advisory Committee to the Office of Scientific Research and Development, and as the chairman to the Consultive Committee on Engineering War Manpower Commission.


2.5 Linear feet (3 boxes)




This collection contains 2.5 linear feet of papers concerning information on war courses and veteran's programs, 1939-95.

Physical Location

Shelf 42 and 44


The provenance of the collection is unknown. The Veterans series contains a gift from the estate of Col. James Hamilton Ferrick (EE`29) and a gift of William A. Bostick (PM'34).


Five folders of oversized materials have been separated and stored in the second floor map case in drawers One, Two and Five. The materials in these folders have been arranged within the series designations and their location is noted in the container list.

One donated book has been transferred to the Hunt Library Special Collections and has been individually cataloged. Donated by the author, a CIT alumnus and a World War II veteran, it bears the author's signature and contains a donation letter.

Physical Description

Three Boxes (Boxes 1- 3); 2.5 Linear Feet, plus oversized


April 4, 2007, Collection arranged and finding aid written by Molly Anne Tighe.

World War II Collection 1939-1995 1940-1946 0000.24
Carnegie Mellon University Archives, Official University Records
August 6, 2007
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Carnegie Mellon University Archives Repository

4909 Frew St
Pittsburgh PA 15213
(412) 268-5021