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Inventory of the Ralph H. Van Deman papers, 1833-1973
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Accruals
  • Biographical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Processed by

  • Title: Ralph H. Van Deman papers
    Date (inclusive): 1833-1973
    Collection Number: 2003C91
    Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 1 manuscript box, 1 oversized box (0.8 linear feet)
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Creator: Van Deman, Ralph H., 1865-1952


    Collection is open for research.
    The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos or films during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all audiovisual material is immediately accessible.

    Publication Rights

    For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Ralph H. Van Deman papers, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2003.


    Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Biographical Note

    Ralph Henry Van Deman was born in 1865 in Delaware, Ohio. He first received a degree from Harvard University in 1888 and continued on to obtain a law degree. He was commissioned as Second Lieutenant of Infantry and later enrolled in medical school at Ohio’s Miami University. His natural aptitude for military intelligence landed him a position at the Military Intelligence Division (MID) in 1897. He is credited with organizing the Philippine Military Intelligence Division in 1901. In 1907, Van Deman was relocated to Washington D.C. where he became the chief of the map section of MID. When the United States entered World War I in 1917, Van Deman attempted to bring some structure to military intelligence after its unceremonious merger with the War College resulting from the direct order of the chief of staff, General Franklin Bell. His involvement in the revival of MID led Van Deman to taking charge of the reformed division. As the war progressed, Van Deman found himself in France where in 1919 he served as the Senior American Intelligence officer and the chief of Counterintelligence for the Paris Peace Commission. Van Deman retired from his military career in the 1929 with a rank of Major General. Many years after retirement, in 1941, Van Deman was appointed as the intelligence advisor to the United States War Department. For this work and his efforts in World War II intelligence he received the Legion of Merit. Ralph Henry Van Deman died in 1952. His extensive career earned him the title of the Father of American Military Intelligence.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Ralph Henry Van Deman collection is organized in four series: biographical files, correspondence, office files, and printed materials. The series are primarily composed of correspondence, special orders, memoranda, personal documents, and photographs, relating to American military intelligence activities during World War I, and to the establishment of the United States Army's Military Intelligence Division.

    Processed by

    Justyna K. Szulc

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    United States. Army--Officers.
    United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces.
    United States. War Dept. Military Intelligence Division.
    Military intelligence--United States.
    Secret service--United States.
    World War, 1914-1918--Secret service.