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Edgar and Elizabeth Begole’s Santo Tomas Internment Camp collection

Call Number: RH MS 1567


The collection includes scrapbooked documents and items collected by Edgar and Elizabeth Begole, who were detainees in the Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Japanese-occupied Manila, Philippines from January 1942 to February 1945. There are also two booklets commemorating the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the internment camp and two background articles about the camp printed from the Internet.


  • Creation: November 1940 – October 1996 (bulk 1942-1944)


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biographies of Edgar Ray (1913-2002) and Elizabeth (Cary) Begole (1911-1998)

Edgar Ray Begole (1913-2002) grew up in Moberly, Missouri and went to the University of Missouri. He married Elizabeth Cary (1911-1998) of Leoti, Kansas.

Begole was a smelter shifter for the Marsen Mining Company in Manila, Philippines when the Japanese attacked the city, soon after their attack on Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. The couple and their toddler son Michael Cary Begole (1940-2003), or Mickey, were confined to the Santo Tomas Internment Camp, the site of a former university, in early January 1942, under orders of the occupying Japanese Army.

While in the camp Elizabeth Begole earned a first aid certification, included in the collection along with her nurse’s veil. Edgar may have served as a floor supervisor among the various committees created by the largely self-administered camp.

The Begoles suffered starvation, as did most of the nearly 4,000 people in the camp. Santo Tomas Internment Camp was liberated in battle on February 3, 1945, by the American Army’s 44th Tank Battalion. A Moberly, MO newspaper reported that young Mickey was amazed by how big Americans are, as he was raised around people experiencing starvation.

Upon return to the United States, the family stayed in Kansas for a time, and then followed Edgar’s job as a pipeline engineer for Standard Oil to Canada and Iran, where they adopted a daughter, Mary Jeannette, in 1962. The couple and their son eventually settled in Richmond, Virginia where they are buried.


.25 Linear Feet (1 document case + 1 oversize box)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

RH MS 1567

Physical Location

RH MS R507

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Beltrone and Company, 2022.

Processing Information

The scrapbook in which items were collected has been discarded, and items from the scrapbook have been grouped in folders. Two newspaper articles, a Philippines flag, a nurse’s veil, and a Japanese fan have been physically separated from the rest of the collection and are housed in an oversize box at RH MS R507.

Guide to the Edgar and Elizabeth Begole Collection
Edgar and Elizabeth Begole’s Santo Tomas Internment Camp collection
Finding aid prepared by eje. Finding aid encoded by eje.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Edgar and Elizabeth Begole Collection, RH MS 1567, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States