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George Mills Harper collection

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 18.0009

Scope and Contents

This collection relates to Lt. Commander and later Commander George Mills Harper who served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as commander of the U.S. Naval Detachment in Naples, Italy. He also continued to serve in the U.S. Naval Reserves until his retirement at the rank of Commander in 1974. He served as a distinguished professor of English at Florida State University. The collection contains U.S. Navy official documents, uniforms, badges, and pins.


  • Created: 1943-1990
  • Other: Date acquired: 03/28/2018


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open to all researchers.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to quote, publish, broadcast or otherwise reproduce from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean for Special Collections & Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Florida State University Libraries as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

Biographical or Historical Information

George Mills Harper, professor emeritus of English literature at Florida State University, was born November 5, 1914, in Linn Creek, MO. Living in Chapel Hill, NC, Harper joined the U.S. Navy on May 4, 1942, and was assigned to Frontier Base Mayport, FL. During World War II, he served as executive officer of the Receiving Station, Naval Supply Depot, and Naval Detachment in Oran, Algeria, and commanding officer of the Naval Detachment, Naples, Italy. Harper was released from Active Duty on October 3, 1946. He remained in the U.S. Naval Reserve until retirement. During his reserve career, Harper served as Commanding Officer, Naval Reserve Surface Battalion 6-9, Sixth Naval District, Durham, North Carolina. He moved to Tallahassee, FL in 1970. He retired from the U.S. Naval Reserve on November 5, 1974.

Harper was married sixty-one years to Mary Jane "Bobby" Harper. Harper and his wife had two daughters, Anne Christian Harper and Margaret Mills Harper. Harper received his Ph.D. in English in 1951 from the University of North Carolina. He was also a Robert O. Lawton Distinguished Professor of English at Florida State University. He previously served as professor and dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Virginia Tech and chairman of the English departments at the University of Florida and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He was an author and editor of 12 books, primarily concerning the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. He received an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, for his contributions to Yeats' studies. Harper passed away on January 29, 2006, in Tallahassee, FL.


1.5 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Custodial History

Transferred from the Institute on World War II and the Human Experience to FSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives in July 2022.

Source of Acquisition

Anne Harper (Daughter of George Mills Harper)

Method of Acquisition


Related Materials

Link to additional finding aid to the George Harper Papers at Florida State University:

George Mills Harper collection
Michael G. Kasper
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the FSU Special Collections & Archives Repository

116 Honors Way
PO Box 3062047
Tallahassee FL 32306-2047 US