Gourdin, Edward O. (1897-1966)
Scope:
The Edward O. Gourdin collection includes correspondence, personal memorabilia, printed materials, professional materials, legal materials, financial materials, diaries and journals, photographs, scrapbooks, and miscellany.

Correspondence in the collection (1931-66) pertains largely to Gourdin’s service in the United States Army, Infantry Unit 372. Materials concern assignment materials, maps, officer lists, speeches, and commendation text. Also included are invitations to Paul Robeson’s birthday celebration, Gourdin’s portrait unveiling, and a reception for Edwin Barclay, present of the republic of Liberia. Personal correspondence addresses various miscellaneous topics, including the Olympics, Harvard University, Christ Church, academic papers, and more.

Collected personal memorabilia consists of Gourdin’s original signature and war ration books (1932-46).

The collection’s printed materials include an issue of Harvard Magazine; newspaper articles and cartoons regarding Gourdin’s college, military, and judicial careers; various booklets, programs, and brochures; and a "A Factual History of the 372nd Infantry Regiment."

Professional materials, such as a trial list and court calendar, concern Gourdin’s career in the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

The collection includes assorted legal certificates, documenting Gourdin’s birth, baptism, marriage, service, and death.

Also present are estate papers for Sarah E. Wilson and George J.F. Clarke, Esq.

Collected diaries and journals consist of log books (1945-56) from Gourdin’s Army service.

Collected photographs document Gourdin’s Harvard education, family, Army service, and funeral and burial. Of particular interest are photographs capturing Gourdin’s participation in the Olympics—namely his world record setting broad jump. Notables include Jack Benny, Mayor John Collins, and Mayor John Hynes.

The collection includes scrapbooks pertaining to Harvard, Gourdin’s track achievements, and other occurrences.

Miscellaneous items in the collection consist of biographical information about Gourdin and an ink stamp of his signature.

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Notable Figures
1. Gourdin, Edward O. (Edward Orval), 1898-1966
Associated Subjects
1. African American Collections -- Politics, Public Affairs, and Social Activism Subject Guide
2. Public Affairs Subject Guide
3. Criminals, Cops, and Judges Subject Guide
4. Broad jump -- United States.
5. African American athletes -- Massachusetts.
6. Justice, Administration of – Massachusetts
7. Olympic Games (8th – 1924 – Paris, France)
8. Track and field – United States
9. African American judges -- Massachusetts
10. World War, 1939-1945 – Participation, African American
11. Massachusetts – Superior Court
12. Scrapbooks
13. Photographs