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Near East Relief Digital Collection

About the Collection

Laurence Howland MacDaniels and Frances Cochran MacDaniels (both graduates of the class of 1912 of Oberlin College) volunteered for service in the American Committee for Relief in the Near East (ACRNE), later called Near East Foundation (NEF). This foundation provided relief in the Near East after World War I. The reader can consult online sources on the foundation. Select photographs from a photograph album documenting their service in the ACRNE, 1919-20, can be accessed in this collection.

The photograph album provides a glimpse of the work of these two Oberlin graduates, Laurence H. and Frances C. MacDaniels in Asia Minor just after the end of World War I. The photo album labelled “American Committee for Relief in the Near East 1919-1923, Turkey-Egypt-Greece, later called Near East Foundation” (see image number 1), is contained in the Laurence H. and Frances C. MacDaniels Papers.

Special consideration has been given to photographs that might give perspective on what conditions were like in Asia Minor, especially Harpoot, after World War I. Thus, many but not all the photos depicting or relating to NEF workers and their charges (especially orphans), the general conditions encountered, the level of relief needed and even some of the logistics followed to provide it have been selected. Pictures portraying what used to be commonly referred to as the “Grand Tour” (Greece, Egypt), which the MacDaniels made as part of their return trip, were not included.

The photographs capture and preserve this for history. For the most part the commentary consists of excerpts taken from the letters of Frances C. MacDaniels. Even so, where it seems appropriate, excerpts are taken from published works of fellow volunteers, who left New York on the Leviathan. The dates derive from the letters, of course, but days of the week when missing (most of them) have been inserted after use of an online Day of the Week calculator (http://www.travelfurther.net/dates/datesrus.asp). Where possible, the first names of the people in question, when missing, are inserted in brackets. The main source for these names has been James L. Barton’s Story of the Near East Relief (1915-1930), an Interpretation, The Macmillan Co., NY, 1930, appendix entitled “Overseas Personnel”. No attempt has been made to verify or expand further the names since it would constitute a major effort to do so. Finally, present-day standardized names and spelling of places have been inserted in brackets after the original as it appeared in a particular letter or other sources. Although it tends to interrupt the flow, it enables use of a global gazetteer such as in the event one wishes to establish precise locations.

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