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Nimitz Library

Harry F. Guggenheim Letters, 1930-1932: Finding Aid

Published in August 2010

Summary Information

  • Publisher: United States Naval Academy. Special Collections & Archives.
  • Publisher Address:
    589 McNair Road
    Annapolis, Maryland 21402-5029, USA
    Phone: 410-293-6917
  • Call number: MS 409
  • Location: Special Collections & Archives Department - Manuscripts
  • Title: Harry F. Guggenheim Letters
  • Dates: 1930-1932
  • Size: 0.1 linear feet
  • Container Summary: 3 folders containing 15 items
  • Creator: Guggenheim, Harry Frank, 1890-1971
  • Language(s) of material: English
  • Abstract: Harry F. Guggenheim was a noted philanthropist, newspaper publisher, mining magnate, and U.S. Naval aviator. The Guggenheim Letters, and their accompanying illuminated manuscript, span from 1930 to 1932. The letters pertain to the presentation of the illuminated manuscript to Guggenheim by the Royal Aeronautical Society, and the dedication of the Aero Club de France.

Biography of Harry F. Guggenheim

Harry Frank Guggenheim was born on August 23, 1890 in West End, New Jersey to Daniel and Florence Schloss Guggenheim. After graduating from Columbia Grammar School in 1907, and a subsequent brief stint at Sheffield Scientific School at Yale, Guggenheim enrolled at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he received both a bachelor's and master's degree, in 1913 and 1918 respectively.

After graduation from Pembroke in 1913, Guggenheim was made executive director of one of his family's mining operations, Chile Copper. At the onset of America's entry into World War I, Guggenheim joined the United States Naval Reserve, where he served as a naval aviator. After the war, he returned to Chile Copper, remaining as executive director until 1923 when he resigned over a dispute regarding the sale of the company.

Guggenheim next served as president of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, which was founded by Harry's father Daniel in 1926. By 1930, the fund had helped establish six schools of aeronautical engineering. His presidency of the Guggenheim fund, as well as other philanthropic ventures, brought Guggenheim into the circles of such aeronautic pioneers as Charles Lindbergh and Robert Goddard. It was also during this time that he was appointed Ambassador to Cuba by Herbert Hoover, a position Guggenheim held from 1929 until 1933.

In 1940, Guggenheim, along with his then wife Alicia Patterson, founded the Long Island newspaper Newsday. At the outbreak of World War II, Guggenheim rejoined the Navy, initially serving as commander of Mercer Field in Trenton, New Jersey, while his wife tended to the operations of Newsday. In 1945, he was briefly transferred to U.S.S. Nehenta Bay (Escort Carrier: CVE-74), which was serving in the Pacific Theater. After the war, Guggenheim returned to the paper, as well as other philanthropic ventures, including overseeing the construction of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Following the death of his wife, Guggenheim turned daily operations of Newsday over to newly hired publisher Bill Moyers in 1967. After a series of confrontations with Moyers over the political and editorial direction the paper was taking, Guggenheim sold Newsday to the Times Mirror Company in 1970.

On January 22, 1971, Harry Frank Guggenheim died at his Long Island mansion, Falaise.

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Description of Contents

The Harry F. Guggenheim Letters, and their accompanying illuminated manuscript, span from 1930 to 1932. The letters pertain to the presentation of the illuminated manuscript to Guggenheim, and the dedication of the Aéro Club de France.

Three letters pertain to an illuminated manuscript presented to Guggenheim by the Royal Aeronautical Society, honoring Guggenheim's stewardship of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund, and the fund's support of the society. Two of the letters are between Guggenheim and Sir John Joyce Broderick, British Minister to Cuba. The third letter, signed by Guggenheim, is to Guggenheim's mother. The manuscript itself is signed by Edward, Prince of Wales, and Prince Albert, Duke of York. The remainder of the collection pertains to the dedication of new facilities for the Aéro Club de France, including two letters between Guggenheim and Walter E. Edge, American Ambassador to France, and several press clippings describing the event.

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Arranged alphabetically by document type.

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Access and Use


Access is unrestricted.

Copyright and Permission

The Harry F. Guggenheim Letters are the physical property of Nimitz Library. Copyright belongs to the authors or creators of the works, or their legal representatives. For further information, consult the Head, Special Collections & Archives.

It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure written permission to publish, reprint, or reproduce material from Special Collections & Archives. The researcher assumes responsibility for infringement of copyright or literary or publication rights. Please contact the Head, Special Collections & Archives for permission to publish and for further information.

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Acquisition and Appraisal

Provenance and Acquisition

Gift of the estate of Harry F. Guggenheim in 1972.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Material

Additional manuscript material pertaining to Harry F. Guggenheim can be found in the Harry Frank Guggenheim Papers at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.

Materials Cataloged Separately

The Harry F. Guggenheim Collection of books, consisting of approximately 2,990 volumes, mostly in the fields of literature, poetry, and aeronautics, is housed in the Special Collections & Archives Department of the United States Naval Academy's Nimitz Library.

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Processing and Other Information

Preferred Citation

Harry F. Guggenheim Letters, MS 409

Special Collections & Archives Department

Nimitz Library

United States Naval Academy

Selected Bibliography

Davis, John H. The Guggenheims: An American Epic. New York: Morrow, 1978.

Keeler, Robert F. "Guggenheim, Harry Frank" (23 Aug. 1890-22 Jan. 1971), in American National Biography, Volume 9, edited by John A. Garraty and Mark C. Carnes, 140-141. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Unger, Irwin. The Guggenheims: A Family History. New York: Harper Collins, 2005.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by David D'Onofrio in August 2010. Finding aid written by David D'Onofrio in August 2010.

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Subject Headings

Name and Subject Terms

  • Aéro-club de France
  • Guggenheim, Harry Frank, 1890-1971
  • Royal Aeronautical Society

Genre Terms

  • Correspondence
  • Manuscripts
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Contents List

Box 1 Folder 1

Correspondence, 1932 February 26-March 5

Letters between Guggenheim and Sir John Joyce Broderick regarding an illuminated memorial presented to Guggenheim by the Royal Aeronautical Society.

Box 1 Folder 2

Correspondence, 1932 March 15-28

Letters between Guggenheim and Walter E. Edge pertaining to dedication ceremonies held at the Aéro Club de France. Also includes press clippings.

Box 1 Folder 3

Illuminated Manuscript, 1930

Memorial presented by the Royal Aeronautical Society regarding Guggenheim's administration of the Daniel Guggenheim Fund.

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