Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Gordon, Ernest, 1916-2002
Ernest Gordon Papers
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
11 boxes and 6.5 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Boxes 1-8; 5a; 6a; 7a


Consists of manuscripts (and related correspondence) of works by Princeton chaplain Ernest Gordon that chronicle his World War II Japanese prisoner-of-war experience and his chaplaincy at Princeton University.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of manuscripts of Gordon's writings and related correspondence: 1) the original autograph and typed manuscripts, galley proofs, and photographs of Through the Valley of the Kwai (1962), an account of Gordon's personal experiences during three-and-a-half years in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp in Thailand during World War II and how those experiences led him to a vocation in the ministry; 2) typescripts of Meet Me at the Door (1969), based on Gordon's early years counseling students during his chaplaincy at Princeton; 3) unprocessed manuscripts of other works, including "Odyssey by the River Kwai" and "Nudged by Love," and correspondence with publishers and from readers/fans of Gordon's work; 4) Gordon's sermons, from the 1950s to the 1970s.


Unprocessed: Boxes 1-4 contain literary works and related correspondence; Boxes 5-7 contain miscellaneous sermons; Box 8 contains chronological sermons (1956-1962).

Collection Creator Biography:

Gordon, Ernest, 1916-2002

Ernest Gordon was a former Presbyterian dean of the chapel at Princeton University. During World War II, he was a Japanese prisoner of war and helped build the infamous "Bridge Over the River Kwai."

Collection History


Gift of the author. Unprocessed manuscripts and correspondence with publishers, along with sermons are a gift of the Princeton University Chapel. More sermons transferred from Mudd Library in 2010. "Solan" manuscript is a gift of the Chapel. AM 18485, 20475, 2009-64, 2010-3, 2011-7, 2012-8.


No appraisal information is available.

Processing Information

Folder Inventory added by Hilde Creager '2015 in 2012.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. No further photoduplication of copies of material in the collection can be made when Princeton University Library does not own the original. Inquiries regarding publishing material from the collection should be directed to RBSC Public Services staff through the Ask Us! form. The library has no information on the status of literary rights in the collection and researchers are responsible for determining any questions of copyright.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Ernest Gordon Papers; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • ReCAP (scarcpxm): Boxes 1-8; 5a; 6a; 7a