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Manuscripts of Modern America
Personal and Family Papers

What follows is a descriptive list of the collections of personal and family papers of the post-Civil War era, located among the North American manuscript holdings in the Department of Special Collections, Hesburgh Libraries of Notre Dame. These collections, dating wholly or primarily from 1865 to the present day, may be characterized as groups of manuscripts of various types originating from individuals or families, distinguished by unity of provenance.

Some of the descriptions that follow may be linked to finding aids, which will provide readers with fuller information on that particular collection.

  • MARY EILEEN AHERN PAPERS. 1893-1930. 244 letters, cards, and other manuscripts. Mary Eileen Ahern (1860-1938) was a leader of the modern library movement in the United States and, for 36 years, editor of the journal Public Libraries. The collection consists primarily of incoming professional correspondence to Ahern from more than one hundred different authors, including fellow librarians, educators, scholars, and literary and political figures. Also present are a small number miscellaneous manuscripts, including exams, documents, and essays. MSN/MN 0504-1 to MSN/MN 0504-155. [Finding Aid]

  • SYDNEY HOBART BALL AND FAMILY PAPERS. 1885-1991; bulk 1905-1949. 436 folders and 1 oversize folder; 17.5 cubic feet. An extensive collection of letters, diaries, professional writings, photographs, and other papers deriving from the American mining geologist, engineer, and gemologist Sydney Hobart Ball (1877-1949) and his immediate family. Among other things, the papers chronicle Ball's extensive travels as a mining consultant, to the Congo, Russia, Mexico, the American West, and elsewhere. Especially notable are the materials relating to Ball's work for Forminière, a Belgian-American company formed to discover and exploit the mineral resources of the Kasai region of the Congo. The collection includes around 3,400 letters (over 1,600 written by Sydney Hobart Ball); several diaries; more than 1,000 photographs; professional articles and reports written by Ball (many of them relating to diamonds); and personal papers of Ball's wife and two daughters. MSN/MN 0513.

  • HUMPHREY M. BARBOUR WORLD WAR I SCRAPBOOKS. 1917-1919. 4 volumes, 29 cm., 678 leaves, with typescript, photographs, postcards, maps and other published illustrations, typed and handwritten documents, and drawings tipped and bound in; 3 additional folders; 1 linear foot. From August 1917 to May 1919 Humphrey Mahan Barbour (1894-1983) of Bloomington, Indiana served as an officer in the U.S. Army's 150th Field Artillery Regiment, attached to the 42nd (Rainbow) Division. From February to November 1918 he saw extensive action on the Western Front, fighting at the 2nd Battle of the Marne, at Saint-Mihiel, and in the Meuse-Argonne offensive. On 1 July 1918 he was promoted from 1st lieutenant to captain, and command of the 150th Field Artillery's Battery B. At some point after the war Barbour compiled a detailed four-volume illustrated narrative of his military experiences, entitled "With the 42nd Division, 1917-19." Around 220 typed pages of memoir, drawn by Barbour from wartime letters and perhaps a journal, are interspersed with more than 400 photographic prints, photo postcards, and published halftones relevant to the text. Also present are more than 500 printed, typed, and manuscript documents and bits of ephemera preserved by Barbour: division and regimental orders, memoranda, reports, and plans; handwritten notes from superior officers; fire orders and reports of fire; and drawings of sections of the front. MSN/MN 0506-1-B to MSN/MN 0506-4-B; MSN/MN 0506-5 to MSN/MN 0506-7. [Finding Aid]

  • THOMAS W. CRIDLER LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION PAPERS. 1898-1911 (bulk 1901-1904). 281 folders; 5 containers; 7.5 linear feet. A collection including more than 2,500 pieces of correspondence to and from Thomas W. Cridler, mostly relating to his role as European Commissioner for the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (the St. Louis World's Fair) held in St. Louis, Missouri in 1904. Some of Cridler's correspondence is with fair administrators and U.S. diplomatic figures; some is with representatives of some 28 European nations targeted for inclusion in the fair (including, most conspicuously, Russia, Germany, France, Great Britain, Belgium, Italy, Morocco, and Turkey). Also in the collection are smaller accumulations of other types of fair-related material, including speeches, printed ephemera, and a few photographs. MSN/MN 0510-1 to MSN/MN 0510-281. [Finding Aid]

  • MORRIS C. FOOTE COLLECTION. 1863-1881, undated. .5 cubic feet. Personal and military documents of Lt. Morris Cooper Foote, 9th Infantry, United States Army, along with related Congressional documents. Included in the collection is a manuscript diary recording Foote's experiences from 1866 to 1869 in Alaska (in its first 19 months as a U.S. territory) and from 1869 to 1871 in the Department of the Platte. MSN/MN 0512-1 to MSN/MN 0512-39.

  • GRAVES FAMILY SHIPPING PAPERS. 1812-1877 (bulk 1850-1875). About 2500 manuscripts. A collection of business letters and records retained by the Graves family, sailing ship captains and shipowners of Newburyport, Essex County, Massachusetts. Most of the material relates to the shipping interests of Capt. William Graves, Jr. (1811-1877), who owned shares in and managed at least eight Newburyport merchant vessels of the 1000-ton class in the decades following his retirement from the sea in 1847. The records pertain especially to three of Graves's ships: George West (built 1855); Castilian (1849); and Joshua L. Hale (1857). These ships contracted to carry all manner of cargo, and sometimes passengers, to and from ports in North America, Great Britain, Peru, India, Burma, and other locations. The collection includes more than 300 business letters directed to Graves, mostly relating to the affairs of the above-named ships: many of these are from the ships' masters, including Graves's half-brothers Alexander and Edward Graves and other relations. There are also some 2000 business records of the three ships, including freight lists and accounts, receipts, disbursements, vouchers, customs papers, and insurance policies and charters. MSN/EA 0506-1 to MSN/EA 0506-134. [Finding Aid]

  • GEORGE COLIN McKEE PAPERS. 1860-1934 (bulk 1864-1883). About 400 manuscripts; miscellaneous printed ephemera and clippings; 17 photographs. George Colin McKee (1837-1890) was a native of Joliet, Illinois. He served as city attorney at Centralia, Illinois before enlisting in the Union army with the fall of Sumter. From 1861 to 1864 he served in the 11th Illinois Infantry, rising to major, and was subsequently brigadier general of Mississippi militia, raising four regiments of freedmen. After the war McKee remained in Mississippi, practicing law at Vicksburg and farming in Hinds County. During Radical Reconstruction he was very active in state politics, as a staunch (if moderate) Republican. He was a member of the Mississippi state constitutional convention (1868), and was elected to the 40th, 41st, 42nd, and 43rd U.S. Congresses, serving in the latter three (1870 to 1875). He was later postmaster at Jackson, Mississippi (1881 to 1885). The McKee papers include more than 240 pieces of McKee's personal, professional, and political correspondence, 1864-1883. Most of the letters are directed to McKee; many are from individuals active in public life, and reference the politics of Reconstruction-era Mississippi and of the greater nation. An additional 30 manuscripts, in McKee's hand, are either drafts of political speeches or political notes. Also in the collection are a variety of business, legal, and financial records retained by McKee, from the 1860s, 70s, and 80s; assorted papers and ephemera of McKee descendants extending into the second quarter of the 20th century; printed items and newspaper clippings; and photographs. MSN/MN 0501-1 to MSN/MN 0501-149. [Finding Aid]

  • LENORE MOONEY PAPERS. 1887-1938 (bulk 1917-1919). About 360 pieces of correspondence, many with envelopes; 80 additional manuscripts and pieces of printed ephemera; 33 photographs. Lenore Mooney (1859-1941) was born in Edina, Missouri, the daughter of William R. Mooney and Mary Henry. After several decades working for the U.S. Post Office Mooney moved to Paris, where she lived from 1910-12 and 1913-19. An affidavit appended to her 1918 passport application states that "I came abroad in 1913 to study . . . . Soon after my arrival the war broke out and I immediately entered relief work and am sustaining my work." This work was consistent with the practice of "godmothering," as it was called during World War I, whereby a benefactress would "adopt" soldiers and others victimized by the war, writing and sending packages to provide moral and material support. Mooney filled a similar role for her nephew, Charles E. Bayly, Jr., a student at Princeton who served in France in 1917-18, first as a volunteer with the American Field Service and subsequently as sous-lieutenant in the French artillery. Of the 360 letters and postcards preserved in the collection, approximately 300 were written between 1916 and 1919. Roughly 270 were directed to Mooney; some 40 more were written by her. About 30 of these were addressed to Bayly during his time with the American Field Service's Section 26 (May to October 1917). Forty-five of Bayly's letters to Lenore are also present; these provide a thorough account of his experiences as an ambulance driver in the Verdun sector of the front. Of the remaining 275 letters, at least 130 were written to Mooney by French soldiers, members of their families, and others to whom she sent aid packages. These date mostly from 1917 to 1919, and often address Mooney as marraine (godmother). There are also letters soliciting aid. The Mooney papers also include a limited number of family letters and records predating and postdating the war, as well as photographs and ephemera. MSN/MN 0500-1 to MSN/MN 0500-241 [Finding Aid]

  • GRACE ATKINSON OLIVER PAPERS. 1861-1897. 101 letters; 11 manuscript essays; miscellaneous ephemera. Papers of the American writer Grace Atkinson Oliver (1844-1899), including (mostly incoming) correspondence, essays on taxation, asylums, women's issues, and other topics, and printed and manuscript ephemera. MSN/MN 0514.

  • CAPTAIN FRANCIS O'NEILL PAPERS. 1918-ca. 1933. 13 letters; 3 inventories. A small collection of manuscript material relating to the donation, in 1931, of the personal library of Captain Francis O'Neill of Chicago to the University of Notre Dame. O'Neill was a noted authority on traditional Irish music, and much of his library pertains to that topic. MSN/MN 0502-1 to MSN/MN 0502-7. [Finding Aid]

  • JESÚS GONZÁLEZ ORTEGA COLLECTION. 1857-1866; bulk 1865-1866. 124 folders; 1 container; .5 linear feet. A collection of letters and other papers belonging to Jesús González Ortega, an important political and military figure in mid-19th century Mexico. The papers mainly relate to González Ortega's stay in the United States in 1865-1867, the efforts of Benito Juárez's government in Mexico to remove him from political office while he was away, and his detainment by the U.S. government in November 1866. MSN/MN 0508-1 to MSN/MN 0508-124. [Finding Aid]

  • ALFRED W. RAMSEY PAPERS. 1883-1955 (bulk 1904-1913). 3 containers plus 3 flat storage containers and 1 mapcase drawer; 3.5 linear feet. Manuscripts, printed matter, photographs, and realia of the business teacher Alfred W. Ramsey (1883-1955), dating especially from his two years (1909-10) on the faculty of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Ramsey was hired in early 1909 to add a business curriculum to the school's vocational and academic programs. Among the Carlisle materials preserved by Ramsey are typescript essays and addresses authored by students, administrators, and others at the school; a broad selection of items printed by the Carlisle Indian Press, including periodicals, pamphlets, programs, broadsides, and dance cards; and photographs and realia. Also present in lesser quantity are items from Ramsey's earlier teaching career, ca. 1904-08, and from his time at Purdue University. MSN/MN 0503-1 to MSN/MN 0503-137. [Finding Aid]

  • STRUNSKY-WALLING COLLECTION. 1906-1967 (bulk 1925-1937). About 500 letters and cards; 2 diaries; miscellaneous manuscripts, printed ephemera, and photographs. Anna Strunsky (1879-1964) was a Russian immigrant to the United States who in 1906 married the wealthy American social activist William English Walling (1877-1936). The couple became known as "millionaire socialists" because of their advocacy of numerous radical causes. The collection includes some 500 pieces of personal correspondence, mostly written by, to, or between Anna and English in the 1920s and 30s, after the couple had separated. Among the most conspicuous authors are Anna and English themselves, their daughter Rosamond Walling Tirana, and Anna's close friend and confidante Leonard Dalton Abbott. Also present are two diaries of Anna's (1934 and 1936). MSN/MN 0509-1 to MSN/MN 0509-117 [Finding Aid]

  • AUGUSTUS VINCENT TACK PAPERS. 1914-1923 (bulk 1914-1915). 189 letters; 89 records; 7 pieces of ephemera. The items in this collection were preserved by the notable American painter Augustus Vincent Tack (1870-1949). Tack's family ran the American Oil Development Company of Pittsburgh, which owned and leased oil-producing properties in Pennsylvania and elsewhere. For a time, at least, Augustus served as company treasurer, and it is this role to which most of the papers relate. Among the letters are 141 from Augustus's cousin, A.O.D. Co. president Theodore A. Tack, describing company affairs and touching on personal and family matters. There are also many A.O.D. Co. records from 1914-15: daily average well production statements, monthly production statements, and monthly receipt and expense reports. MSN/MN 0505-1 to MSN MN 0505-79. [Finding Aid]

  Related Collections:   Colonial & Revolutionary America Early National & Antebellum America American Civil War Modern America Sports

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University of Notre Dame
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Notre Dame, IN 46556
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