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Eugene F. Ockuly Franklin Delano Roosevelt Collection - MS 415

Introduction | Biographical Sketch | Scope and Content | Series DescriptionInventory


The correspondence and other non-book material of the FDR Collection span the years from 1914 until about 1980 with the preponderance falling between 1929 and 1950. Roosevelt's unique personal and political lives are reflected in the wide variety of pamphlets, brochures, clippings, press releases, and other materials which comprise the collection.

The collection was a gift to Bowling Green State University from Dr. Eugene Ockuly, a former Toledo physician, in 1979. Dr. Ockuly began collecting Roosevelt material in 1949 in anticipation of writing a book about the former President. He never found time for the book, but over the following thirty years, he amassed a large and diverse collection including over one thousand books. Both the books and manuscript materials are housed in the Center for Archival Collections Rare Books Division.

The collection is open for use by researchers. Standard copyright restrictions exist on the unpublished materials. This register was prepared by Nancy Steen, Rare Books Librarian, in February 1986.

 Biographical Sketch

Franklin Delano Roosevelt was born at Springwood, the Roosevelt family estate just outside of Hyde Park, New York, on January 30, 1882. As the only child of Sara Delano and James Roosevelt he enjoyed a happy and secure childhood. He attended Groton, Harvard, and Columbia Law School. Although never finishing the requirements for a law degree, he passed the New York State Bar Examination in 1907.

Roosevelt's political career began when he won a surprising upset victory for the New York State Senate in 1910. He served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy in the first Wilson administration. In 1920 he ran for Vice President on the Democratic ticket with James M. Cox. They were soundly defeated by Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge.

There followed Roosevelt's struggle to overcome the crippling effects of the polio attack he suffered in 1921 and his triumphant re-entry into politics in 1924 with his famous "Happy Warrior" speech nominating Al Smith at the Democratic National Convention. In 1928, he was elected Governor of New York and in 1933 he became the thirty-second President of the United States. During the next twelve years he presided over the New Deal and led the Allies in the Second World War. He had just started to serve his fourth consecutive term when he died of a cerebral hemorrhage on April 12, 1945.

 Scope and Content

Several original signed letters from Franklin D. Roosevelt form the centerpiece of the Ockuly FDR Collection. Printed materials including pamphlets, brochures, newsclippings, periodicals and tearsheets, programs, posters, and photographs all give a rather complete picture of Roosevelt's life and times.

Special emphasis is on his Presidency with copies of many of his writings and speeches, a large number in the form of White House press releases. Material realting to his terms as Assistant Secretary of the Navy and Governor of New York are also well represented as are items dealing with New Deal programs and the conduct of the War. Especially fascinating is the political material relating to all four of his Presidential campaigns. The collection includes much critical as well as laudatory material and, studied as a whole, gives a relatively balanced view of both Roosevelt and his era.

 Series Description


Arranged chronologically
Includes letters from Roosevelt as Assistant Secretary of the Navy, as Governor of New York, and as President.


Holograph chart of the Roosevelt family tree prepared by Roosevelt's daughter Anna and her fiance John Boettiger. In Boettiger's hand.


1930-1957, n.d.
Arranged chronologically within each subject area.
Includes pamphlets dealing with Roosevelt's and Henry Wallace's speeches, the New Deal, international relations, political campaigns, religion, Roosevelt's health and death, and Hyde Park.

Arranged chronologically within issuing government or governmental branch.
Includes messages from Governor Roosevelt to the New York Legislature, messages from President Roosevelt to Congress, reports of wartime conferences, records of congressional hearings, executive orders and agreements, and documentation of Anglo-American and Canadian-American relations.

1942-1975, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Includes articles, columns, and editorials on Roosevelt, his associates, and his policies.

1935, 1949
Arranged chronologically
Invitation to a Notre Dame convocation; program for a Roosevelt College Day Dinner.

Arranged chronologically within each subject area.
Articles include those by Roosevelt as well as those about him, his associates, general politics and economics and international relations. (See also Oversize section at end of collection)

World War I message from Assistant Secretary of the Navy Roosevelt. (See Oversize section at end of collection)

1933-1947, n.d.
Arranged by year, each year chronological within broad subject areas.
Includes numerous presidential addresses, messages to Congress on a variety of foreign and domestic subjects as well as many speeches from the last three Presidential campaigns. Also included are President Truman's first message to Congress and various press releases from the State Department, the Roosevelt Library, and the War Department.

Arranged chronologically
Music and lyrics of 23 political and patriotic songs written about Roosevelt. Includes works by Irving Berlin and George M. Cohan.

A three-part series called "If I could, you can!" about Roosevelt's battle with polio in the April, May, and June 1946 issues of Picture News.

1951, n.d.
Includes stamps honoring Roosevelt, an article on philately and a quote by Roosevelt on collecting on back of a postcard.

1946-1971, n.d.
Arranged chronologically
Includes advertising and publicity materials for Roosevelt, his associates and commercial products.

Miscellaneous printed material designed for classroom use, with patriotic themes.


Autographed photograph of Roosevelt.

Autographed photograph of Roosevelt.


Includes signatures of Roosevelt, Garner, Hull, Morganthau, Dern, Cummings, Farley, Swanson, Ickes, Wallace, Roper, and Perkins.


Box 1


  1. Correspondence--Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1917-1934
  2. Roosevelt family tree, 1933
  3. Pamphlets--Speeches and messages, 1930-1941
  4. Pamphlets--Speeches and messages, 1942-1944, n.d.
  5. Pamphlets--International Relations, 1935-1953, n.d.
  6. Pamphlets--The New Deal, 1933-1938, n.d.
  7. Pamphlets--Politics, 1930-1943
  8. Pamphlets--Politics, 1944-1947
  9. Pamphlets--Politics, 1948-1950, n.d.
  10. Pamphlets--Religion, 1945, n.d.

Box 2


  1. Pamphlets--Roosevelt's health, death, memorials, 1945-1957, n.d.
  2. Pamphlets--Roosevelt Library and Hyde Oark, 1941-1955, n.d.
  3. Legislative and Executive Documents--New York State Legislature, 1929
  4. Legislative and Executive Documents--New York State Legislature, 1930
  5. Legislative and Executive Documents--New York State Legislature, 1931
  6. Legislative and Executive Documents--New York State Legislature, 1932
  7. Legislative and Executive Messages--US Congress, 1933-1935
  8. Legislative and Executive Messages--US Congress, 1936-1939

Box 3


  1. Legislative and Executive Documents--US Congress, 1940-1941
  2. Legislative and Executive Documents--US Congress, 1933-1942
  3. Legislative and Executive Documents--US Congress, 1943-1944
  4. Legislative and Executive Documents--US Congress, 1945-1947
  5. Legislative and Executive Documents--US Executive Branch, 1938-1946
  6. Legislative and Executive Documents--Manhattan Project: The Smyth Report on the development of the atomic bomb (with cover correspondence), 1945
  7. Legislative and Executive Documents--Great Britain and Canada, 1941-1943
  8. Clippings, 1942-1975, n.d.
  9. Programs/Invitations, 1935, 1949
  10. Periodicals/Tearsheets--articles by Roosevelt, 1915-1917

Box 4


  1. Periodicals--articles by Roosevelt, 1918-1920
  2. Periodicals--articles by Roosevelt, 1923-1924
  3. Periodicals--articles by Roosevelt, 1928
  4. Periodicals--articles by Roosevelt, 1929
  5. Periodicals--articles by Roosevelt, 1931
  6. Periodicals--articles by Roosevelt, 1932

Box 5


  1. Periodicals--articles by Roosevelt, 1933-1940
  2. Periodicals--articles by Roosevelt, September 1941
  3. Periodicals--articles by Roosevelt, October 1941
  4. Periodicals--articles about Roosevelt, 1935
  5. Periodicals--articles about Roosevelt, 1945
  6. Periodicals--articles about Roosevelt, 1948-1952
  7. Periodicals/Tearsheets--articles about Roosevelt, 1953-1974
  8. Periodicals--articles about Roosevelt's Cabinet, 1937-1947

Box 6


  1. Periodicals/Tearsheets--articles about Roosevelt's associates, 1948
  2. Periodicals/Newsletters--articles about Roosevelt's associates, 1953-1957
  3. Periodicals--politics and economics, 1929-1938
  4. Periodicals/Newsletters--politics and economics, 1950-1952
  5. Periodicals--politics and economics, 1953
  6. Periodicals/Newsletters--politics and economics, 1957-1982

Box 7


  1. Periodicals/Tearsheets--international relations, 1934-1943
  2. Periodicals/Tearsheets/Newsletters--international relations, 1945-1950
  3. Periodicals--international relations, 1950
  4. Periodicals/Newsletters--international relations, 1951-1953
  5. Periodicals--international relations, 1956-1961

Box 8


  1. Press releases, 1933-1934
  2. Press releases, 1935
  3. Press releases, 1936
  4. Press releases, 1937
  5. Press releases, 1938
  6. Press releases, 1939

Box 9


  1. Press releases--general, domestic and political messages, 1940
  2. Press releases--international relations, 1940
  3. Press releases, 1941
  4. Press releases, 1942
  5. Press releases, 1943-1944
  6. Press releases, 1945-1947, n.d.

Box 10


  1. Press releases--Atomic bomb project, 1945, n.d.
  2. Sheet music, 1933-1956
  3. Comic books, 1946
  4. Stamps and related items, 1951, n.d.
  5. Promotional materials, 1946-1971, n.d.
  6. Autographed photograph of Roosevelt, n.d.
  7. Autographed engraving of Roosevelt, n.d.
  8. Signatures of Roosevelt and his cabinet, 1935 (?)
  9. Pamphlet: The Case against Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1936
  10. Pamphlet: Tax Fakes and Budget Magic, 1936
  11. Pamphlet: Platform Adopted by the Democratic National Convention, 1936
  12. Pamphlet: Spending to Save, ca. 1936
  13. Pamphlet: Peace, 1936
  14. Pamphlets and broadsides, 1936 Presidential campaign (8 items)


  1. Periodical--article by Roosevelt, 1914
  2. Periodical--article by Roosevelt, 1917
  3. Poster--World War I message from Roosevelt, n.d.
  4. The Flag of Destiny. Prints and historical information about U.S. flags, distributed by Dun & Bradstreet, 1935.
  5. The Flag of Destiny. Prints and historical information about “The Christian Era” distributed by Dun & Bradstreet, 1940.
  6. Print. “America on Its Knees” Distributed by Conrad Hilton/Prentice Hall, 1952.
  7. Print. “Star Spangled Banner.” Gold foil print, distributed by Brown & Bigelow, ca. 1950?
  8. Print. Pledge of Allegiance. In blind-stamped enclosure. Decorative, illuminated style. (Text lacks “under God”). Ca. 1950.

Note: All the books from the Ockuly FDR collection are cataloged and can be found through the online catalog.

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