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Eloise Henkel (1923-1995) Papers

Identifier: 31/6/111

Scope and Contents

The Eloise Henkel Papers fill five boxes and span the years 1967-1974. The collections consists of correspondence, newspaper clippings (both written and not written by Eloise Henkel), notes, drafts of her newspaper articles, general traveling materials, blank postcards, and photographs. The collection highlights Henkel’s reporting and travels through Vietnam and Southeast Asia during the time of the Vietnam War.

The correspondence consists mostly of letters to and from various newspapers that were publishing articles written by Eloise Henkel dating from 1967 to 1970. The newspapers include the Grand Rapids Press, The Montreal Gazette, the Washington Post, and other newspapers. Also included in the correspondences are letters to congressmen, such as Gerald Ford and Edward Kennedy, relaying her experiences and requesting explanations for the atrocities she saw in Vietnam. There are also a couple of letters to former president Richard Nixon, expressing her opinion on the US involvement in the Vietnam War. This section also consists of correspondences between Eloise Henkel and her loved ones.

The newspaper clippings date from 1967-1972 and consist mostly of articles that were written by Eloise Henkel and published in the various newspapers which she was corresponding with during her time in Vietnam. Two folders contain newspaper clippings that were not written by Eloise Henkel that she had used as references in her research while reporting in Southeast Asia.

Various leads and story ideas that Henkel thought of during her time traveling can be found in the notes section of the collection. This section also includes four small spiral notepads used by Henkel during her interviews and reporting in Vietnam.

Drafts of newspaper articles and stories make up a large portion of the collection and are divided into folders corresponding with the city or area that Henkel was reporting about at the time. Almost all of the drafts are not dated; however, some do appear published in the newspaper clippings section. The topics covered range from the different major cites of Vietnam, such as Saigon, Hue, Quang Ngai, and Da Nang, to the "draft dodgers" in America that were fleeing to Canada to avoid being drafted into the military, to even a discussion on the Middle East from a Vietnamese perspective.

The general traveling materials section in the collection is composed of various things that Eloise Henkel accumulated over the course of her traveling. Such things include a 1948 Greek reporter’s pass, allowing Henkel to interview high ranking political figures in Greece, traveling brochures from her visit to Hiroshima, receipts and paystubs from the newspapers which she sold her articles (dated 1968-1974), Vietnamese film sleeves that are labeled with the places she visited, as well as various pamphlets, such as a newsletter from a group of Vietnamese Buddhists.

Two sets of postcards are also part of the collection. One set includes black-and-white and color images of Hiroshima, depicting the damage that was caused by the atomic bomb as well as the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum that was erected. The other set contains black-and-white images of various landmarks in the city of Saigon.

Photographs make up the bulk of the collection, filling just over three boxes. Many of the photographs are undated. They fall into two main categories: people and places. The pictures of people range from political figures to refugees and include people such as Chiang Kai Shek, Chairman Mao, Gerald Ford, Ted Kennedy, American and Vietnamese soldiers, as well as war protestors in Washington D.C. In the places that she visited, Henkel took a wide variety of photographs; from landscape and terrain shots to pictures of the Quang Ngai victory celebration involving the capture of Viet Cong soldiers. Places that were photographed include cities of Vietnam, such as Hue, Saigon, Da Nang, and Quang Ngai, China, Japan, Taiwan, Bucharest, and Turkey. Some of the photographs in the collection are paired with their negatives.


  • 1948 - 1974
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1967 - 1970
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/11/2012


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.\n


5.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



Documenting the career of reporter and journalist Eloise Henkel (1923-1995), the collection spans the years 1948-1974. The majority of the material dates from 1967-1970, when Henkel spent significant time in Vietnam and Southeast Asia during the Vietnam War. In addition to many article drafts and photographs, there are also clippings of her published work as well as correspondence.


The correspondence is arranged by addressee; clippings of articles by Henkel are arranged chronologically; article drafts are arranged by topic; travel materials are arranged by country and topic; postcards and photographs are arranged by location.

Source of Acquisition

The Eloise Henkel Papers were donated to the University Archives by Mitchel David on behalf of Jerry Morton, a friend of Henkel, as Accession # 11-206.

Other Descriptive Information

Please cite as: “Courtesy of Northwestern University Archives, with thanks to Jerry Morton.”

Guide to the Eloise Henkel (1923-1995) Papers
Brian Cacioppo
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US