Scope and arrangement
The bulk (over 75%) of the John Edwin Bakeless Papers consists of writings and research notes and papers reflecting Bakeless's career as author, historian and historical researcher. Included are manuscript and typescript drafts of several of his published works including Background to Glory, Spies of the Confederacy and Traitors, Turncoats and Heroes; and five book- length drafts (some incomplete) of unpublished writings including a history of popular culture in America and a history of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. There are also research notes (some on 8x10 index cards) and papers relating especially to his searches for source materials in libraries, archives and in private hands for his books on military intelligence during the American Revolution and the Civil War. The remainder of the papers (about 25%) consists of correspondence with historians, scholars, publishers, librarians, archivists, family members, personal friends and others; and personal diaries and scrapbooks, military service records, and other miscellany including a diary kept by Bakeless's father, Oscar H. Bakeless.
The John Edwin Bakeless papers are arranged in four series:
The Correspondence is arranged into four sub-series: A. General Correspondence; B. Correspondence Sent; C. Correspondence with Librarians and Archivists; D. Family Correspondence & Papers.
The Writings are arranged into three sub-series: A. Books; B. Miscellaneous Writings; C. College and University Essays.
The Research Notes and Papers are arranged into three sub- series: A. American Revolution; B. Civil War; and C. Miscellaneous.
The Personal Miscellaneous Papers include personal diaries, and scrapbooks, pocket memo books, bills and receipts (1926-75), royalty statements 1940-67), military service records (1938-66), personal miscellany including curriculum vitae, personal publicity, snapshots of Bakeless in military uniform and in civilian clothes, a photo identification in Russian of Bakeless as a delegate of the Allied Control Commission in Bulgaria, a snapshot of Mrs. Katherine Bakeless and other personal memorabilia.
The diaries consist of an unbound typescript narrative (June- July 1927, 1938-72 [gaps]); and 21 bound volumes (1957-77) of varying sizes [the year 1974 is missing].
A large portion of the unbound typescript diary records Bakeless's gardening and horticultural activities at his farm in Seymour, Connecticut, his observations of nature, and his bird and wildlife sightings. There are scattered references to his counter- intelligence activities during W.W.II. (see especially entries for Jan. 7, 1950, Feb. 15, 1951) and to the Battle of the Bulge (entries for Dec. 27-28, 1955, Dec. 24, 1956, and Sept. 27, 1969). There are also scattered references to his literary work in progress, social and luncheon engagements, the history of the Town of Seymour (Conn.). In the earlier period (1927) the narrative contains anecdotal accounts of magazine publishing in New York City and of spying activities in W.W.I. gathered by Bakeless from conversations with his associates. During the war years (1940-45) the narrative was kept by Katherine Little Bakeless (wife of John Bakeless).
The bound diaries (1957-77) record in abundant detail Bakeless's daily routine on his farm in Seymour (Conn.), his daily readings, literary work, farming activities, and his personal and social life.
The scrapbooks kept by Bakeless consist of an unbound volume (1930s-1960s); and a bound volume (1913-14, 1938-40, 1967-74).
The unbound scrapbook (1930's-1960's) contains numerous curricula vita of John Bakeless and of his wife, Katherine Little Bakeless; correspondence, genealogical notes and memoranda relative to the history of the Bakeless and Harvey families and to the history of the town of Bloomsburg and Columbia County (Pa); and memoranda (1930's) of luncheon and dinner conversations Bakeless had with associates relative to the Literary Digest, The Forum, and The Century (magazine).
The bound scrapbook (1913-14, 1938-40, 1967-74) contains clippings (1913-14) of Bakeless's articles published in the Bloomsburg (Pa.) Morning Press and a printed flyer of his instructions (as editor) to rural correspondents; and numerous clippings relating to the Bloomsburg State College, the Bakeless Memorial Fund, and to John and Katherine Bakeless. Some clippings bear manuscript annotations by Bakeless relative to his newspaper career. There is also an autograph note (Feb. 7, 1914) in pencil by Gifford Pinchot written during his campaign for the U.S. Senate.
The pocket memo books (1946 & undated) contain notes relating to his research on Lewis and Clark and miscellaneous notes.