William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
William L. Babaian Collection, 1969-1976
Clements Staff, 2007, and Meg Hixon, November 2011
William L. Babaian collection
Harms, George W., 1921-1993 and Harms, Marguerite
The William L. Babaian collection is made up of correspondence, photographs, greeting cards, and newspaper clippings related to Babaian's life, including his service with the United States Army during the Vietnam War.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
Donated by Marguerite Harms, 2007. M-4617.
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
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.
William L. Babaian Collection, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
- Series I: Correspondence
- Series II: Photographs
- Series III: Greeting cards
- Series IV: Newspaper clippings
Each series is arranged chronologically.
William Levon Babaian was born in Mount Vernon, New York, to Iranian immigrant Abgar L. Babaian and his wife Loretta. William served in the United States Army Medical Corps from 1948-1952, during which time he completed a tour of duty in Korea during the Korean War. He received a bachelor's degree from Boston University in 1956, earned a master's degree in biology the following year, and graduated from the Tufts University School of Medicine in 1961. He opened a practice near Boston, Massachusetts, but re-entered the army in 1969 as a result of escalating hostilities in Vietnam. He served with the 23rd Artillery Group in Vietnam, earning the Bronze Star in December 1969, and remained in the military until at least 1976. He and his wife, Helen Bouchakian, also the daughter of Iranian immigrants, had several children, including a sons Michael, William, and Haig Steven.
Collection Scope and Content Note
The William L. Babaian collection is made up of correspondence, photographs, greeting cards, and newspaper clippings related to Babaian's life and army service during the Vietnam War. The 16 items in the Correspondence series document his second term of military service. He wrote to his sister and brother-in-law, Marguerite and George Harms of Ann Arbor, Michigan, about his family. Several letters relate directly to his army experiences, including a lengthy letter in which he described his medical clinic in Vietnam (December 31, 1969) and a letter attaching two reports he composed on soldiers' health and obesity (February 10, 1970). He often attached photographs of his wife, children, and locations in Vietnam. A postcard depicts the Japanese "Aquapolis" from the 1975 World's Exposition.
Four additional Photographs show Babaian in uniform during each of his two terms of military service. The collection's Greeting cards are a humorous birthday card Babaian sent to Marguerite Harms, and a Christmas card he wrote from Korea (long after his military service), in which he described his impressions while revisiting the country. The Newspaper clippings series includes 4 clippings regarding Babaian's educational and military accomplishments.
- Mental illness.
- Physicians--United States.
- United States. Army--Medical personnel.
- United States. Army--Military life.
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Medical care.
- Babaian, William L.
- Vietnam War, 1961-1975--Medical care.
- Clippings (information artifacts)
- Greeting cards.
- Letters (correspondence)
Additional Descriptive Data
The George W. and Marguerite Harms papers pertain to William L. Babaian's sister and brother-in-law.
- The George W. Harms papers, 1915-1922, contain subject files relating to veterans' activities and his involvement in issues of concern to veterans; minutes of meetings of Ann Arbor, Michigan, post of the American Legion; a scrapbook of American Legion Post No. 46 containing letters from servicemen in Vietnam and photographs of post activities; and other photographs and videotapes.
- The Marguerite Babaian Harms papers, 1935-1985, pertain to Harms, a professor of nursing at the University of Michigan. The collection contains files relating to her professional interests, especially work on undergraduate nursing curriculum committee; nursing course materials; professional correspondence; and Cobblestone Farm Association files, 1975-1994.