Arvid T. Johnson Papers: Finding Aid

Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth A. Logan, April 22, 2010.
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
© 2010
The Huntington Library. All rights reserved.

Overview of the Collection

Title: Arvid T. Johnson Papers
Dates (inclusive): 1895-1957
Collection Number: mssJohnson, Arvid papers
Creator: Johnson, Arvid T.
Extent: 167 items.
Repository: The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Manuscripts Department
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Phone: (626) 405-2129
Abstract: This collection contains correspondence, ephemera, and a photograph album of World War I American soldier Arvid T. Johnson (later a San Diego State College history professor), as well as some later family letters and documents.
Language: English.


Open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information, contact Reader Services.

Administrative Information

Publication Rights

The Huntington Library does not require that researchers request permission to quote from or publish images of this material, nor does it charge fees for such activities. The responsibility for identifying the copyright holder, if there is one, and obtaining necessary permissions rests with the researcher.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item]. Arvid T. Johnson Papers, The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.


Gift of Dr. Martin Ridge, October 22, 1998.

Biographical Note

Arvid T. Johnson was an American soldier during World War I. He joined the Medical Detachment of 354th Infantry American Expeditionary Forces (A.E.F.) where he served as a dental assistant. He spent 1917 training in the United States and was sent to Europe in June 1918 where he served in France and Trier and Waxweiler, Germany. After the war, he married Louise Harris. He was the principal of the Bennington, Oklahoma, high school before he joined the University of Toledo in the 1930s as a history professor. In 1955, he also became the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Toledo. In 1957, he and Louise moved to Southern California and he served as the assistant to the President of San Diego State College.

Scope and Content

The collection contains correspondence and ephemera.
The Correspondence series is arranged alphabetically by author and predominantly contains letters from Arvid T. Johnson to his then-girlfriend Louise Harris Johnson during World War I. The letters include discussions of how much he misses her, his experiences doing laundry and dental work, troop entertainment, and his observations about Germany. Additionally, there are letters regarding Johnson’s academic career and letters from Cassius W. Harris (Louise’s brother) to his family members during World War II. Most of the original envelopes are included with the letters.
The Ephemera series is arranged alphabetically by subject and then chronologically within each folder. It contains Johnson’s address book, Cassius W. Harris’ Bible, empty envelopes, event programs, funeral announcements, government identifications, a marriage certificate, Cassius W. Harris’ report book, newspaper clippings, a photo album and photographs. The photo album includes photographs from the home front as well as Johnson’s pictures of Europe and his friends during the war.


Arranged in two boxes: Box 1: Correspondence (arranged alphabetically by author); Box 2: Ephemera and Photographs (arranged alphabetically by material type).

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Huntington Library's Online Catalog.  


Johnson, Arvid T.
United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Medical care.
World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, American.


Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Photograph albums -- 20th century.
Photographs -- 20th century.

Collection Contents

Box 1


Folder 1

Barker, H. Kenneth. 2 letters (1956-1957) to Arvid T. Johnson.

Folder 2

Cain, S. Eleanor. 1 letter (1956, Sep. 27) to Arvid T. Johnson.

Folder 3

Donner, F.P. 1 letter (1933, July 1) to Arvid T. Johnson. Includes teacher’s certificates, receipts and envelope.

Folder 4

Harris, Cassius W. 9 letters (1945) to Alice Harris.

Folder 5

Harris, Cassius W. 1 letter [undated] to Alice and Dean W. Harris.

Folder 6

Harris, Cassius W. 1 letter (1945, Mar. 21) to Alice Harris, Louise Harris Johnson and Arvid T. Johnson.

Folder 7

Harris, Cassius W. 5 letters (1945) to Louise Harris Johnson.

Folder 8

Johnson, Arvid T. 1 letter (1919, Feb. 11) to John A. Johnson.

Folder 9

Johnson, Arvid T. 19 letters (1917-1918, Jan.) to Louise Harris Johnson.

Folder 10

Johnson, Arvid T. 15 letters (1918, Feb. - May) to Louise Harris Johnson.

Folder 11

Johnson, Arvid T. 25 letters (1918, June - Dec.) to Louise Harris Johnson.

Folder 12

Johnson, Arvid T. 28 letters (1919) to Louise Harris Johnson.

Folder 13

Johnson, Arvid T. 2 letters (1957) to Malcolm A. Love.

Folder 14

Johnson, Louise Harris. 1 letter [undated] to Raymond Harris.

Folder 15

Knowles, Asa S. (Asa Smallidge), 1909-. 2 letters (1955-1957) to Arvid T. Johnson.

Folder 16

Love, Malcolm A. 5 letters (1956) to Arvid T. Johnson.

Folder 17

“Ma Dad.” 2 letters (1941) to “Folks.”

Folder 18

MacDowell, Marian, 1857-1956. 1 letter (1937, July 11) to Louise Harris Johnson.

Folder 19

O’Byrne, Ernest B. 1 letter (1956, Nov. 29) to Arvid T. Johnson.

Folder 20

Shea, D.G. 1 letter (1943, Feb. 13) to Arvid T. Johnson.

Folder 21

Sims, F.S. 1 letter (1943, Jan. 16) to Arvid T. Johnson.

Folder 22

Smith, Duane D. and Florence, A.J. and Florence Townsend, W.A. and Martha Smith, Rondolph C. and Marie Downes, Cecil and Corinne Cody and Lloyd and Betty Lapp. 1 letter (1957, June 3) to Arvid T. and Louise Harris Johnson.

Folder 23

Vaughn, Arkell M. 2 letters (1919) to Louise Harris Johnson.

Box 2

Ephemera and Photographs

Folder 1

Address Book [undated]. 1 item.

Folder 2

Bible (1917). 1 item. Includes newspaper clippings, pamphlets and miscellanea.

Folder 3

Bookmark (1917, Jan. 2). 1 item. Includes autographs and menu.

Folder 4

Empty Envelopes (1918-1919). 3 items.

Folder 5

Event Programs (1923-1953). 3 items.

Folder 6

Funeral Announcements (1915-1936). 2 items.

Folder 7

Government Identifications (1917-1945). 2 items.

Folder 8

Marriage Certificate (1895, Feb. 2). 1 item.

Folder 9

Monthly Report Book for Cassius W. Harris of Greenville Public Schools (1913-1914). 1 item.

Folder 10

Newspaper Clippings (1915-[1935]). 6 items.

Folder 11

Photo album [undated]. 1 item. Includes photos from American Expeditionary Forces time in Germany during/post World War I.

Folder 12

Photographs (1919). 18 items.