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Inventory of the Channel Islands Collection
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Historical Note
  • Scope and Content of Collection
  • Arrangement
  • Indexing Terms

  • Collection Summary

    Title: Channel Islands Collection
    Dates: 1940-1998
    Collection Number: 2000C26
    Collection Size: 6 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box (2.8 linear feet)
    Repository: Hoover Institution Archives
    Stanford, California 94305-6010
    Abstract: The collection is comprised of diaries, letters, proclamations, permits, orders, ration cards, identification documents, photographs, postcards, printed matter, video tapes, and compact disks relating to life on the Channel Islands under the German occupation during World War II.
    Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
    Languages: English, French and German

    Administrative Information


    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], Channel Islands Collection, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

    Acquisition Information

    Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 2000.


    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 Socrates at http://library.stanford.edu/webcat . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in Socrates is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

    Historical Note

    The Channel Islands are comprised of five main islands: Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark, Herm, and three smaller islands: Jethou, Brecqhou and Lihou. The islands lie off the French coast of Normandy but are dependencies of the British crown.
    After the fall of France to Germany, in June 1940, the Channel Islands became indefensible for the British. On June 20, 1940, the decision was made to remove all troops from the Channel Islands and cut the underwater cable providing communications between Britain and the Channel Islands. Island residents had to make the decision to stay or evacuate to England. British ships were sent to take those residents ready to evacuate but there were not enough ships to accommodate all evacuees.
    On June 28, 1940, the Germans bombed St. Helier, the capital of Jersey, and the Guernsey capital of St. Peter Port. On June 30, 1940, German troops landed on the islands and began the occupation. The occupation lasted five years, from June 30, 1940, through May 9, 1945. The Channel Islands were the only part of the British Commonwealth to be occupied by Germany during World War II.

    Scope and Content of Collection

    The Channel Islands Collection relates to life on the Channel Islands under the German occupation during World War II. It is comprised of diaries, letters, proclamations, permits, orders, ration cards, identification documents, postcards, photographs, printed matter, video tapes, and compact discs. The bulk of the material depicts daily life on the islands during the German occupation, but also includes materials related to the liberation and post-occupation life of the islanders. The collection is arranged into series and contains materials in English, French and German.
    The Diaries and Correspondence series illustrates life during the occupation through letters and diaries that document the daily life of island residents living through the occupation and the experiences of a resident deported from the islands to Laufen as a German prisoner of war.
    The Occupation and Post-Occupation Materials series encompasses a wide variety of items that were used in the daily lives of island residents and in the running of the government during the five years of occupation. It also illustrates island life from the occupying force's point of view and post-occupation. In addition, the series includes items relevant to the liberation and post-occupation.
    The Printed Matter series contains various printed materials depicting life on the island during the occupation such as personal memoirs, island histories and poetry, as well as items that highlight the tourist industry built on the islands as a result of the occupation.
    The Audiovisual Materials series contains items that cover both the occupation of the islands and general history of the island. There are firsthand audio accounts from fifteen residents who lived through the occupation. Video footage includes captured wartime newsreels and interviews with survivors of the occupation as well as unique video footage documenting life on the island of Guernsey from 1915 to 1945.
    The Newspaper series contains a number of original newspapers spanning daily life under occupation and liberation. The newspapers also report on the progress of the war from a pro-German perspective. The bulk of the papers were printed on Jersey and Guernsey.
    All materials in this collection were collected by C. C. Kohler, an antiquarian bookseller from Dorking, England.


    The collection is organized into 5 series: Diaries and Correspondence, Occupation Materials, Printed Matter, Audiovisual Materials, Newspapers.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
    Channel Islands -- History -- German occupation, 1940-1945
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Channel Islands
    World War, 1939-1945 -- Great Britain
    Miltary Government