Simon Baker Papers

1943-1958
Manuscript Collection #1130
Creator(s)
Baker, Simon
Physical description
0.5 Cubic Feet, 82 items , correspondence, military service records, clippings, photographic prints, postcards, scrapbooks and maps.
Preferred Citation
Simon Baker Papers (#1130), East Carolina Manuscript Collection, J. Y. Joyner Library, East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, USA.
Repository
ECU Manuscript Collection
Access
No restrictions

Papers (1943-1958) of a professor of Geography at East Carolina University, including correspondence, military service records, clippings, historical accounts, photographic prints, postcards, scrapbooks, maps, and printed materials especially relating to his World War II service as a Technician Fifth Grade, in Company B, 361st Engineer Special Service Regiment in Arizona, California, France, The Philippines and Japan.


Biographical/historical information

Simon Baker was born in Revere, Massachusetts on August 3, 1924. He served during World War II in Arizona, California, France, The Philippines and Japan as a Technician Fifth Grade in Company B, 361st Engineer Special Service Regiment. Baker received an honorable discharge in 1946. In 1949 he enlisted in the United States National Guard of Arizona with the Heavy Tank Company, 158th Infantry G. Baker was given his second honorable discharge (as a corporal) from the United States Army in 1953. That same year, he married Rosalie Kenner of London, England. Baker also received a master's degree in agronomy from the University of Arizona. In 1956, while a candidate for the doctor of philosophy in geography at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, Baker received a grant from the National Research Council to study planned agricultural development in the dry zone of Ceylon (known as Sri Lanka since 1972) under the Colombo Plan. Given this opportunity, Baker and his wife Rosalie decided to visit several other countries in Europe and Asia. Their trip lasted from August 1956 until July 1958. From August 1978 until January 1995 Baker served as a professor in the Geography Department at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina.


Scope and arrangement

The collection consists of correspondence, military service records, clippings, historical accounts, photographic prints, postcards, scrapbooks, maps and printed materials. The collection is arranged in three series: military service, scrapbooks, and printed materials.

The military service series includes photographs taken by Baker during and after World War II in Arizona, California, France, The Philippines and Japan. Subjects covered include local residents in Normandy and Angeles (Luzon, Phillipine Islands), desert maneuvers in California and Arizona, local residents, rock crushers and a cannon factory in Itami, Japan, local scenes in Osaka, Japan, The V-E Parade and Mickey Rooney in France, a convoy of military ships in route between The Phillipines and Japan. Photographs of the ruins of Manilia following the United States invasion can also be found. Also in this series are photocopies of Baker's honorable discharge papers, the newsletter Wireless containing early reports of Japan's surrender in World War II and four postcard books featuring views of Mourmelon, France and the adjacent military base where Baker was stationed.

Contained in the scrapbooks series is a scrapbook documenting a trip to several countries in Europe and Asia taken during 1956-1958 by Baker and his wife. This trip included visits to England, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, India, China, Japan, Vietnam and The Phillipines. Also mentioned are the ships the couple traveled on, including the SS MAIPURA, SS LAOS and SS PIONEER MILLS. Materials in the scrapbook include maps, photographs, postage stamps, sketches, clippings, guidebooks and other ephemera. Many of the photographs feature historic sites and local residents. Specific locations include London, Amsterdam, Aden Colony (Arabia), The Island of Mahe in the Seychelles, Kathmandu, Singapore, Manila, Saigon, New Delhi (includes scenes of Prime Minister Nehru's birthday celebration), Tokyo, Hong Kong, Nepal and The Panama Canal. Also well documented is Colombo (Ceylon), the city where Baker resided while working on his study of planned agricultural development. Highlights at Colombo include The Buddha Jayanti Year 1957 (2500th year since the birth of Buddha), The Yala Game Sancturary, various tea estates, Colombo Zoo and the Hindu Festival. Other Colombo subjects present are the YWCA where the Bakers resided and a BSA motorcycle bought by the couple for transportation.

The printed materials series consists of Baker's correspondence and medical reports relating to his planned study in Ceylon, pages from National Geographic magazine that document locations that Baker visited while in Nepal, Baker's account of his visit to Tokyo and Hong Kong, several Chinese postcards and maps of Tokyo, Hong Kong, and Colombo Fort and Environs.


Administrative information
Custodial History

September 4, 2008, 82 items. 211 pages. 0.50 cubic feet; Papers (1943-1958) including correspondence, military service records, clippings, historical accounts, photographic prints, postcards, scrapbooks, maps and printed materials especially relating to his World War II service as a Technician Fifth Grade, in Company B, 361st Engineer Special Service Regiment, in Arizona, California, France, Philippines and Japan; also relating to his National Academy of Science - National Research Council - sponsored trip to Ceylon to study planned agricultural development in the dry zone under the Colombo Plan. English, French, and Chinese language. See preliminary inventory attached. Note: Simon Baker was a member of the East Carolina University Science faculty, August 28, 1978 to January 1, 1995; at the time of his trip to Ceylon he was a fellow in the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University, Worcester, MA. Ceylon has been known as Sri Lanka since 1972. Donor: Dr. Simon Baker

Source of acquisition

Gift of Dr. Simon Baker

Processing information

Encoded by Jonathan Dembo, September 05, 2008

Processed by Meagan Vizard April 2010 Dale Sauter 2010

Copyright notice

Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.


Container list
Box 1 Folder a Military service records of Simon Baker (1943-1953) including two honorable discharge certificates, 1946 & 1953. Photocopies. 4 items. 6 pages
Box 1 Folder c Matson Line Wireless Newsletter (ca. 15-19 August 1945) including early reports of the Japanese surrender in World War II. Mimeographed. 3 items. 6 p. Note: Published aboard SS LURLINE on 38-day voyage from Marseille, France to Manila, Philippines. 6 pages
Box 1 Folder d Camp De Mourmelon Album Nos. 1 - 4 Postcard Books (ca. 1944-1945) showing views of Mourmelon, France and the adjacent military base where Baker was stationed. Published by Librarie Militaire Gu?rin, 23, Rue Gouraud, Moumelon-le-Grand, France. French language. Black & White. Printed. 4 items. 52 pages
Box 1 Folder e A Voyage Around the World undertaken by Simon and Rosalie Baker between August 11, 1956 and July 31, 1958 (ca. 1956-1958) Scrapbook, Part 1: USA - England - Belgium - Holland - Denmark - Voyage to Colombo, Ceylon aboard SS MAIPURA - Ceylon. Loose-leaf scrapbook unbound. 1 item. 23 pages
Box 1 Folder f A Voyage Around the World undertaken by Simon and Rosalie Baker between August 11, 1956 and July 31, 1958 (ca. 1956-1958) Scrapbook, Part 2: India - Nepal - Singapore - Voyage aboard SS LAOS to Saigon, Vietnam - Manila, Philippines - Hong Kong Colony - Japan - Voyage to US aboard SS PIONEE MILLS. Loose-leaf scrapbook unbound. 1 item. 31 pages
Box 1 Folder g Correspondence & Medical Report (1956) concerning Simon Baker's plans to study in Ceylon. 5 items. 5 pages
Box 1 Folder h Afoot in Roadless Nepal, by Toni Hagen, Ph.D. (1960) clipping from National Geographic Magazine, Vol. 117, no. 3, pp. 360-404; Katmandu, Nepal Guide. 2 items. 23 pages
Box 1 Folder i Account of Visit to Tokyo, Japan & Hong Kong, by Simon Baker (1958) with Map of Tokyo. Typescript. 2 items. 5 pages
Box 1 Folder j Chinese Y. M. C. A. Hostel, Singapore Postcards (1958) 3 items. 3 pages
Box 1 Folder k Map of Colombo Fort & Environs, Ceylon (Oct. 1954) Printed by Survey Dept., Ceylon. 1 item. 1 page