Guide to the Robert M. Briggs Papers

Finding Aid Authors: Amanda Lanthorne.
© Copyright 2010 Special Collections & University Archives. All rights reserved.
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Guide to the Robert M. Briggs Papers 1943/2004

Special Collections & University Archives

Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: Robert M. Briggs Papers
Dates: 1943-2004
Bulk Dates: 1943-1945
Identification: MS-0453
Creator: Briggs, Robert M., d. 2005
Physical Description: 0.38 linear ft
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Special Collections & University Archives
5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego, CA, 92182-8050
Phone: 619-594-6791

Biographical Information:

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 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, Briggs became a professor of secondary education at San Diego State University where he taught for thirty years. He retired in 1985. Briggs passed away in 2005.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:

Personal Papers

Administrative Information


Additions were made on January 26, 2005.

Conditions Governing Use:

The copyright interests in some of these materials have been transferred to or belong to San Diego State University. The nature of historical archival and manuscript collections means that copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. Copyright resides with the creators of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. Requests for permission to publish must be submitted to the Head of Special Collections, San Diego State University, Library and Information Access. When granted, permission is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical item and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder(s), which must also be obtained in order to publish.  Materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials.

Conditions Governing Access:

This collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation:

Identification of item, folder title, box number, Robert M. Briggs Papers, Special Collections and University Archives, Library and Information Access, San Diego State University.

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

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.

Detailed List of Contents

Box 1, Folder 1

Interview with Kathy Neal, Special Collections Librarian September 16, 2004

Box 1, Folder 2

"Reflections" - illustrated poetry and essays by Robert Briggs

Box 1, Folder 3

World War II Scrapbook circa 1943-1945

Box 1, Folder 4

World War II Scrapbook circa 1943-1945

Box 2, Folder 1

Oversize Watercolors and Bockscar Plane Insignia Collage circa 1943-1945