Exploring the Archives

I was responsible for researching WW2 in my group.  The most significant information I found was when I visited the Archives and went through the Nancy Thompson Letter Collection.  This collection was started by Nancy Thompson and the purpose of it was to keep in contact with soldiers who had connections to the University.  Later the letters were all put together and can now be found in the archives.  The collections is massive.  Although there were many letters in the collection, most of the entries were written by white soldiers.  However, there was one black soldier I was able to find.  Erin informed me that although there were many other black soldiers in the war that had relations with the University, only one wrote back.  His name was Adelbert  Berry.  Before the war he was a student at Kean but then was drafted.  After the war he returned to Kean where I believe he graduated.  Berry was extremely active on campus.  He took part in many school functions including school dances.  He is also on the cover of an issue of the school’s news paper, “The Reflector”.  In another article a poem by Berry can be found.  During his service he traveled all around the globe.  He went to Arizona, Fort Dix and Morocco.  He was even able to move up in the ranks of the military.  In his early letters he ends them with “sincerely Dell Berry”.  Later letters he writes “sincerely Pvt. Dell Berry.


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