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MSS 78-3

Inventory of the Personal Papers of Frank S. Tavenner and Official Records from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East


Frank S. Tavenner's personal working files (26 boxes) of the IMTFE consist of memoranda, reports, files of Japanese defendants, printed materials. The collection contains also as well as his set of the official records (195 boxes) of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE), 1945- 1948.

1945-1948 [Inclusive]
72 Cubic Feet (113 archival boxes and 23 cartons)

Scope & Contents

Collection Description

    Physical Description

    This collection consists of 113 boxes and 23 cartons.<extent>1 arbitrary_unit</extent>

    Conditions Governing Access

    There are no restrictions.

    Conditions Governing Use

    There are no restrictions.

    Preferred Citation

    Personal Papers of Frank S. Tavenner and Official Records from the International Military Tribunal for the Far East, 1945-1948, MSS 70-3, Box Number, Special Collections, University of Virginia Law Library.

    Biographical / Historical

    Frank S. Tavenner, Jr. was born in Woodstock, Virginia in 1895. He took an A.B. degree at Roanoke College in 1916, an A.M. at Princeton University in 1917, and a LL.B at the University of Virginia in 1927, after which he began the practice of law in his hometown. In 1933 Tavenner was appointed assistant U.S. attorney in the Western District of Virginia, and in 1940 became U.S. attorney. Following World War II, he was assigned by the Department of the Army to be Counsel for the International Prosecution Section of the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (IMTFE) - a post he held from late 1945 to the end of the trial in 1948. He was also Acting Chief Counsel during 1947. From 1949 until the mid-1950's, Tavenner was Chief of Counsel for the House Committee on Un-American Activities. He died in 1964.


    Series I: The personal papers comprising the first 26 boxes cover the years 1946-1948 when Tavenner was counsel to the International Prosecution Section (IPS) of the IMTFE. During 1947, Tavenner was Acting Chief of Counsel, in the absence of Chief of Counsel, Joseph Keenan.

    Series II
    The official records of the Tribunal comprise the second series of this collection. Many repositories hold collections of these records, the two nearest to Charlottesville being the library of Congress and the National Archives. The former has published a list of its holdings which are more extensive than those Tavenner collected. Nevertheless, his collection contains the basic records including a nearly complete set of the transcript of the proceedings, a complete set of exhibits, a narrative summary of the record, several indexes, rejected documents, defense and prosecution summations, orders and rulings of the tribunal, and the judgment.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection was donated to the Law Library by Sarah Z. Tavenner, in 1970.


    There is extensive correspondence about the provenance of this collection in RG 106-81, Box 9: "Gifts - Japanese War Crimes Trials Papers."

seriesBoxes 1-26: Personal Papers 1946-1948.
seriesReports, memoranda, court documents, etc
seriesIPS Documents numbered 0-4095; complete
seriesReports, memoranda, and miscellaneous materials relating to Japanese/German/Italian collaboration
seriesPrinted Material