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Samuel J. Shure V-mail correspondence collection

 Collection — document-box: 1
Identifier: 2016-027-s-r

Content Description

This collection contains 133 correspondence (132 V-mail correspondence) written by Sgt. Samuel J. Shure to his family and friends during the Second Word War. Apart from the several V-mail correspondence, this collections also includes a partial V-mail kit containing 47 unused V-mail forms, an ink well, a scrap of cloth, and a container of mechanical pencil leads.

Also included are several--nearly 100--blank postcards depicting various European scenes.


  • 1943 - 1945

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this material except where previously copyrighted material is concerned. It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain all permissions.

Biographical / Historical

Sergeant Samuel J. Shure (1909-1996), from New York, enlisted in the United States Army in May 1942, and was stationed for a time in England and France. For his correspondence, Shure makes use of the relatively new system of war-time correspondence, Victory Mail, or, as it is more commonly known, V-mail.

"Based on the British Airgraph system developed in the 1930s, the U.S. adopted the V-mail system during World War II to tighten up security and reduce the cost of trasferring an original letter through the military postal system. Invisile ink, microdots, and microprinting could not be reproduced in the photocopy, thus foiling any attempts at espionage communications.

"The process, launched in June 15, 1942, began with a soldier writing in ink or pencil on an official V-mail form, measuring appoximately 7 by 9 inches. It was reviewed by mail censors before being photographed and transported as a thumbnail-sized image in negative microfilm. Upon arrival at its destination, the negtive would be blown up to 60% of the original size to about 4 1/4 by 5 3/16 inches and printed . . . .

"According to the National Postal Museum, 'V-mail ensured that thousands of tons of shipping space could be reservced for war materials. The 37 mail bags required to carry 150,000 one-page letters could be replaced by a single mail sack. The weight of that same amount of mail was reduced dramatically from 2,575 pounds to a mere 45.'" (Taken from the dealer's original prospectus.)


.25 Linear Feet (1 document box)

Language of Materials



This collection contains correspondence, postcards, and a V-mail kit (blank V-mail forms, ink well, container of mechanical pencil leads) written by and belonging to Sergeant Samuel J. Shure of the United States Army during the Second World War.


This collection is arranged by material type and date: Series 1. Correspondence from Sergeant Samuel J. Shure - Series 2. V-mail Kit and Postcards.

Physical Location

Leatherby Libraries, Special Collections

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This is a purchase from The Book Shop, LLC-ABAA, ILAB.

The Finding Aid for the Sergeant Samuel J. Shure V-mail correspondence collection
Andrea Paquin
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections and Archives, Leatherby Libraries Repository

Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange 92866 USA US