This collection is primarily comprised of Joseph Cummings' annual reports on Wesleyan University for the years 1857-1874, excepting the 1866-1867 school year. These reports contain censuses of Wesleyan's student body, including lists of students that have died or taken seriously ill during the school year. They also include Cummings' recommendation that women be admitted into Wesleyan and his suggestions for allocation of funds, most prominently with regards to building and maintaining a library. The collection also contains Cummings' correspondence, including with Julia Olin and W.O. Atwater (primarily regarding securing Atwater's employment), as well as Cummings' official acceptance of the position as president at Wesleyan University. Also included are several articles by Cummings, a petition against his resignation from the professorship, and his wife D.S. Cummings' correspondence. For more information, refer to the finding aid for the collection: http://wesleyan.edu/libr/schome/FAs/cu1000-89.xml.
During World War I, Wesleyan had a brief period when it adopted several programs to train students to become soldiers and officers. Wesleyan had a total of 1,169 men involved in the war effort, of whom 26 died. The majority of Wesleyan men were involved in the Army, S.A.T.C., and Navy. After the war was over, the Wesleyan Alumni Council sent a form requesting military service records of students and alumni involved in the war. These forms were intended to be published as a permanent memorial to those who served. However no evidence that this book was ever produced has been found. The men who completed these forms filled out basic biographical information, information about their service in the war, and offered their opinions on such issues such as universal training and how their education at Wesleyan had benefitted them during the war.