This collection consists of diaries, writings, and a photograph album, mostly relating to Harry William Morrison's military service in World War I. The diaries date from June 30, 1918 to April 20, 1919, covering the period after he left training camp until his return from the war. There is an entry for nearly every day, ranging in length from a single sentence to several paragraphs. He generally writes in a candid style, recording his poor opinions of army food and transportation, as well as his appreciation for the sights and customs of Europe. In an entry describing conditions on the ship from New York to England, for example, he writes:
"Dinner consisted of cabbage & bread which was not fit for a hog. Quarters on next to lower deck. Stinks so bad one can hardly stay below. Supper, frozen sau[s]age & bread, as bad as dinner. Are to sail tomorrow morning. Slept on deck, could not stand it below. Crew as rotten as grub."
At the close of the war when he was billeted with a friendly German family, he wrote:
"The people we are living with are fine. Name Moseler. [...] Mrs. Moseler came in and talked to Matil and I in the afternoon, the conversation drifted around to the war. We could plainly see they had been kept in ignorance, about all they had ever heard, was what great victories the Germans were gaining, never of defeat. When we told her of the cruelties practiced on the Belgiums she was horrified [...]."
In addition to making daily entries in his diary, Morrison also recorded details such as the price of clothes and food, and descriptions of tourist sites. Some of the tourist information may have been copied from book, "Guide to the Rhine," which is included in this collection. He also recorded taking 22 film rolls worth of photographs. Many of these photographs, along with postcards that he purchased, are in the photograph album in this collection. The images depict subjects such as his band, other soldiers, airplanes, battle landscapes, military trains, cities (some bombed, some intact), tourist sights, artillery, members of the Moseler Family, military camps and transport ships. Approximately 125 original photographs and 75 postcards are present in the album.
Also in this collection is a revised copy of his diary, which Morrison probably wrote in the 1930s. He may have intended to publish it, but it was never completed; it ends on January 20, 1919. There is also a notebook containing an antiwar speech, a fragment of a play with populist themes, and a Christmas story about a "Red Elf" that was probably intended for Morrison's children. A folder of photocopied documents, mostly from the Oregon State Archives, provide information about his incarceration in 1916 and his death in 1937.
The collection was donated by his daughter-in-law, Geraldine Morrison, who attended Pacific University in the late 1940s. Harry's son, Donald Edward Morrison, was a Pacific graduate and president of his senior class in 1950.