Columbia University Archives

Harry Bernard Koopman Papers, 1917-1967, bulk 1917-1919

Summary Information


A collection of photos and memorabilia kept by Harry Bernard Koopman, pertaining to his time with the Columbia Ambulance Corps during World War I.

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0171
Bib ID 8497994 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Koopman, Harry Bernard
Title Harry Bernard Koopman Papers, 1917-1967, bulk 1917-1919
Physical Description 0.5 linear feet (1 document box)
Language(s) English , French .

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located onsite.



This collection is arranged in one series.



This collection of memorabilia maintained by Harry Bernard Koopman consists primarily of small format photographs and some postcards of fellow servicemen, scenery of the French countryside, battlefield conditions and local populations. Some of the identified locations in France include Meriel, Nice, Aix, and Vasseny. The collection also contains an intact photo album with fading notations, a scrapbook of newspaper clippings, letters, photographs and other memorabilia, a Red Cross flag, and a 1967 history of ambulance service during World War I.

  • Series I: Photographs and Memorablila, 1917-1967

    This series consists of loose snapshots, one photo album with handwritten, fading, notations, a scrapbook, an old Red Cross flag, and a 1967 history of U.S. Army Ambulance Service with the French and Italian Armies between 1917 and 1919. Some of the small snapshots appear to have been pulled out of a photo album as the black paper is still stuck on the back. This paper often obscures the identification of the image, though in many cases you can still some, if not all, of the handwritten notes about the images. Photos are of people, scenery or battlefield conditions (e.g., abandoned tanks, camp sites, etc.). Harry Bernard Koopman was an avid photographer, but it is unclear as to whether he took all of these photographs or not. Folders are arranged in alphabetical order by folder title.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located onsite.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Harry Bernard Koopman Papers; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

Columbia University in World War I Collection (UA#0014). Historical Photograph Collection, 1860- (UA#0003)


No additions are expected

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2010-2011-M070: Source of acquisition--Susan Quigley. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--1/4/2010.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed Jocelyn Wilk 11/2013.

Finding Aid created Jocelyn Wilk 11/2013.

Revision Description

2013-11-19 File created.

2013-11-20 EAD finding aid created by Patrick Lawlor

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Flags Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographs Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Postcards Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Columbia University Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scrapbooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
United States. Army. Ambulance Service Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
World War, 1914-1918 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Born in 1900, Harry grew up on Staten Island. Upon leaving high school, he went up to Columbia University in June 1917 to join the college boys who were joining the ambulance corps in France before the United States entered the war. Harry was only 17 years old at the time, lied about his age and joined up. He eventually was part of the service unit SSU 575 which was sponsored by Columbia University. Harry Bernard Koopman later changed his name to Harry Cahill Koopman, taking is mother's maiden name. He died in Lebanon, PA in 1986.