The Robert N. Slawson Collection contains loose photographs, unbound album pages, a leather-bound diary, an annotated and typewritten transcript of the diary, maps, postcards, an American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) newspaper issue, and miscellaneous clippings relating to his service in the United States Army Ambulance Service (USAAS) between 1917 and 1919.
The bulk of this collection is comprised of photographic material, including over 400 numbered and unnumbered photographs, many of which appear to have been separated from photograph scrapbooks. The photographs range in size from 1 ¾” x 2 ½” to 5” x 7”and include mostly casual photographs of ambulance drivers, military personnel, civilians, and rural and urban landscapes both before and after battles. Also included are separate groupings of photographs of Slawson in uniform, the German Crown Prince and Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, and a set of photographs given to Slawson by a friend. In addition to the loose photographs, there are unbound photograph album pages containing sixty nine photographs of ambulance drivers, soldiers, civilians and landscapes.
This collection also includes a diary handwritten by Slawson from June 1917 to May 1918, which describes his daily activities during training and in active service. There are transcribed copies of the diary entries, along with photocopied documents and letters (dated between June 1917 and May 1921) sent by Slawson to his step-mother and sister Eva, which were compiled and annotated his daughter, Carolyn Slawson DeCoster. The original letters and documents are not part of this collection.
The remainder of this collection is comprised of seven oversize maps of various locations in France, clippings, a page of “Cartoons as Illustrated by Some of Our Boys,” postcards (including one Cartes Postales Detachables booklet), AEF stationary printed by the YMCA, a copy of Plane News, the newspaper of the AEF, and one typewritten copy of an undated letter.