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Arthur L. Funk Papers

Identifier: MS Group 271

Scope and Content

This small collection from Prof. Funk's private library includes early works from his college and graduate school years, original artwork, correspondence with historians, generals and politicians related to his research on World War II, oral history interviews with various generals including Eisenhower, and a collection of his published articles. This collection includes be Funk's artwork, which provides first-hand images of life aboard a U.S. Destroyer during World War II. Funk was born into a family of artists (his brother was a commercial illustrator) and was fond of sketching. The collection contains scenes from his tour of duty aboard the U.S.S. Farquhar done in pencil, ink, and pastel [See list of "Artwork" below]. One of his college essays is also extensively illustrated with drawings of medieval armor.

The correspondence addresses Vichy France during World War II. The Allied Forces decided, in 1942, to open a second front on the Western coast of Africa. In order to do so, however, they needed to choose a French leader who could rally French support for the Americans without alienating the local population or the Vichy government. Funk's research deals with the politics of this decision, which caused tension between the three candidates for the position, Francois Darlan, Charles de Gaulle, and Henri Giraud.


  • Creation: 1927-2009



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Arthur Layton Funk (1914 in Brooklyn, NY - June 17, 2007 in Gainesville, FL) was a historian of World War II at the University of Florida. He received his B.A. in History from Dartmouth College and his M.A. and Ph.D. in Medieval History from the University of Chicago. During World War II he served as a Naval officer on the U.S.S. Farquhar, an American destroyer. After the war, Funk joined the University of Florida faculty as a humanities professor, where his research interests shifted from medieval history to French resistance during World War II. He spent 1954-55 in France as a Guggenheim Fellow. He then left UF for six years to work for the U.S. Information Service, holding posts in Syria, Lebanon, and Madagascar. Funk returned to UF's faculty in 1962, chairing the History Department from 1973-78. His major works include Hidden Ally: The French Resistance, Special Operations, and The Landings in Southern France, 1944 (1992); The Politics of Torch: The Allied Landings and the Algiers Putsch, 1942 (1974); and De Gaulle: The Crucial Years, 1943-1944 (1959).

Source: "Dr. Arthur L. Funk." University of Florida Oral History Project. University of Florida, n.d. Web.


1.68 Linear feet (4 boxes)

Language of Materials



Small collection of papers from the files of former University of Florida history professor Arthur Funk. Features World War II artwork by Funk, AV from oral history interviews and copies of published articles written by Funk.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Acquisition Information

Gift of Mrs. Elaine Funk. Later addition of 1920s notebook from Lilla Moye in February 2023.

Alternate Form of Material

Digital reproductions of items in this collection are available online via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Related Material

A brief history of the U.S.S. Farquhar, on which Funk served, is at Navsource Online:

A Guide to the Arthur L. Funk Papers
Finding aid created by Joshua D. Holtzman
April 2010 (Updated December 2023)
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Revision Statements

  • December 2023: Added new addition with AV and published articles.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America