Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Elizabeth Bonney van den Bosch Collection, 1943-2002

Finding aid created by
Meg Hixon, July 2012

Summary Information
Title: Elizabeth Bonney van den Bosch collection
Creator: Van den Bosch, Elizabeth Kinsell Bonney, 1921-2002
Inclusive dates: 1943-2002
Bulk dates: 1943-1951
Extent: 32 items
This collection is made up of military documents, photographs, and ephemera related to Lieutenant Elizabeth Bonney van den Bosch's service in the United States Navy and Naval Reserve during and after World War II.
Language: The material is in English
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1997, 2002. M-3405.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown

Processing Information:

Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.

Preferred Citation:

Elizabeth Bonney van den Bosch Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


The collection is arranged in the following series:

  • Series I: Documents
  • Series II: Photographs
  • Series III: Printed Materials

Each series is arranged chronologically, with undated items placed at the end.


Elizabeth Kinsell Bonney was born in Columbus, Ohio, on October 15, 1921, and graduated from Ohio State University in 1943. She joined the United States Navy's WAVES. shortly after her college graduation, and served with a coded communications unit in Washington, D. C., during the war. She attained the rank of lieutenant. Bonney married Lieutenant Govert van den Bosch, a member of the Royal Netherlands Marines, on December 24, 1946, and they lived in The Hague, Netherlands, until returning to the United States in 1948. They spent much of their adult lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and had three children: Elisabeth, Anneke, and Richard. Elizabeth Bonney van den Bosch died on September 15, 2002.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Documents series (15 items) contains official military records from Bonney's service in the United States Navy and Naval Reserve. They relate to her training at the United States Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School at Smith College and the Naval Training School at Mount Holyoke College; her promotions to ensign and lieutenant; and her formal resignation from the naval reserve in 1951. Also included are an identification card verifying her active duty in the United States Navy and certificates acknowledging her military participation in World War II.

Photographs (11 items) include black-and-white portraits of Elizabeth Bonney and other women in naval uniforms. Govert van den Bosch sent Bonney pictures portraying soldiers and a military funeral from his service in Indonesia with the Royal Netherlands Marines.

The Printed Materials series (6 items) consists of commencement programs for the United States Naval Reserve Midshipmen's School and the Naval Training School for communications, a commemorative book with photographs of navy officers in training at the Midshipmen's School, and a page from the Sundial with humorous cartoons and quips. Two items form 2002 are a printed poem dedicated to the memory of Elizabeth Bonney van den Bosch and her obituary from the Ann Arbor News.

Subject Terms

    • Death--Poetry.
    • Mount Holyoke College.
    • Smith College.
    • United States. Naval Reserve. Women's Reserve.
    • United States. Navy.
    • World War, 1939-1945--United States.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Women--United States.
    Subjects - Visual Materials:
    • Marines--Netherlands.
    • Military funerals.
    • Surabaya (Indonesia)
    • Van den Bosch, Elizabeth Kinsell Bonney, 1921-2002.
    • World War, 1939-1945--Indonesia.
    • Van den Bosch, Govert W., d. 1999.
    Genre Terms:
    • Certificates.
    • Clippings (information artifacts)
    • Ephemera.
    • Identity cards.
    • Military records.
    • Photographs.
    • Programs (documents)
    • Snapshots.
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Documents [series]
    Box   12, World War II Small Collections Folders   3-4
     August 14, 1943-June 1, 1951, and  undated
    Photographs [series]
    Box   12, World War II Small Collections Folder   5
    Printed Materials [series]
    Box   12, World War II Small Collections Folder   6
    Additional Descriptive Data

    Howard, Carol. "Sentimental Journey: A True Story of Enduring Love that Began Forty-three Years Ago in a Restless, War-torn World." Detroit Monthly (February 1989): 62-66.