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Delbert Havens Collection

Identifier: A-4133

Scope and Contents

The collection is composed of 1.5 cubic feet of postcards, photographs, booklets, documents, and a few artifacts collected and owned by Delbert Havens (1898-1978,) who served in the Army in Europe following World War One from 1919-1922.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1919-1922

Biographical / Historical

The material of this collection was collected by Delbert L Havens, who was born in Grand Rapids in 1898, while he was in Europe with the A.E.F. following World War One from 1919-1922. While in Europe, Delbert was a driver for General John J. Pershing and drove him to the first ever meeting of the League of Nations. He also took photos and collected postcards of the places that he visited and as mentioned before the photos and postcards are a mix of Black and White and some that are tinted. After his service was complete, Delbert returned to the United States and lived in Comstock, Michigan, where he worked as a Metal Finisher in the Auto Body industry and in 1940 he moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan where he continued to word as a Metal Finisher in the Auto Body industry. Delbert got married to Ethel M. Prosser in 1923 and they had 3 sons, Dwight L. Havens, Neil C. Havens, and Eugene V. Havens.

This collection was found after Delbert passed away in 1978 and was organized by his daughter Roselle Chilson Havens. Many questions arose after many photographs of a woman named Dora Gallner appeared. This led to two of Delbert’s granddaughters traveling to Europe to find answers which lead to the creation of the film called The Abandoned Bride.


1.5 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Physical Description

The collection amounts to 1.5 cubic feet and is composed of material collected by Delbert L Havens when he was in Europe with the A.E.F. from 1919-1922. The collection is a mix of Black and White and some tinted Photographs and Postcards that are in good condition with minimal tearing and fading. There are also booklets and maps of Europe in the collection that are also in good condition (the war map of the French Front has some tearing viewers should be mindful of.) There are a total of 33 folders, 11 of them white and contain photographs, 19 of them are cut to fit the booklets better and the remaining 3 are normal sized legal folders.

The booklets are all softbound with a heavy paper and all covers are connected to the spines of the booklets. The contents of the booklets themselves are mostly guides/maps of the region they were found in or booklets of unused postcards. The general sizes of the collection are as followed: The size of the booklets range from “4.5x9” to “10.5x6.” The size of the photographs range from “3x4” to “3x6.5.” The size of the postcards are all “3x5.5.”


Material was collected by Roselle Chilson Havens.

Ian Daly
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Western Michigan University Archives & Regional History Collections Repository

Charles C. and Lynn L. Zhang Legacy Collections Center
1650 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5307 US
(269) 387-8490