Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


This list gives the collection name, date range and number of items in a collection followed by a very brief description of the contents of the collection. All of these collections are related to African-Americans.

  • DATE RANGE: 1951-1975
  • ITEM COUNT: 30 items
  • The Baldwin mss. consist of the letters of author JamesBaldwin to editor William Rossa Cole. Most of the letters concern Baldwin's writing activities while in France, 1951-1958.
  • DATE RANGE: 1873-1874
  • ITEM COUNT: 239 items
  • The Champney sketches are drawings of the post-Civil War South by James Wells Champney, painter and illustrator, who accompanied Edward Smith King on a trip through the South in 1873-1874 to make drawings for a series of articles for which King was collecting material. Present are a number of images of blacks.
  • DATE RANGE: 1853-1884
  • ITEM COUNT: 38 items
  • The Colfax mss. are papers of Schuyler Colfax, Indiana newspaperman, speaker of the House of Representatives and vice-president of the U.S. These letters relate to the newspaper business and to local, state and national politics including comments on the local attitude towards the slavery issue.
  • DATE RANGE: 1835-1904
  • ITEM COUNT: 72 items
  • The Cumback mss. are the papers of William Cumback, lawyer and congressman from Indiana. They consist chiefly of correspondence with prominent political figures, army officers, lawyers, poets, journalists, and personal friends. The letters deal with national and state politics and with the slavery question as it related to Kansas, 1855. Included also are resolutions opposing the further extension of slavery by the Decatur County Democratic party.
  • DATE RANGE: ca. 1941
  • The J.S. Curry mss. are those watercolors of John Steuart Curry, illustrator, which he prepared for illustrating the Limited Editions Club volume of The Literary Works of Abraham Lincoln. Scenes show "All men are created equal, except Negroes", "The Caning", "Nobody Knows de Trouble I've Seen,Lawd", and "Emancipation".
  • DATE RANGE: 1959-1965
  • ITEM COUNT: 88 items
  • The Dorn mss. are the letters of LeRoi Jones (Imamu Amiri Baraka), poet, to Edward Dorn, author. Matters of common interest, the writing of books and articles, the publishing of poetry magazines, poetry readings, teaching experiences are discussed. A letter of William Epton, labor leader, to Jones, about the Harlem riot of 1964 is forwarded to Dorn for his information. In a Feb. 4, 1965 letter Jones writes to Dorn about the Black Arts Repertory theater.
  • DATE RANGE: 1819-1939
  • ITEM COUNT: 150,006 items
  • The Fairbanks mss. consist of letters and papers of Charles Warren Fairbanks, U.S. senator and vice-president of the U.S., and his son, Warren Charles Fairbanks, newspaper publisher. Some letters in this collection discuss civil rights in Indiana. There are a number of letters from Booker T. Washington to Charles Warren Fairbanks.
  • DATE RANGE: 1642-1939
  • The Forwalter mss. are historical documents collected by Dorothy J. Forwalter. Of particular interest are: 1781, Apr. 16. Receipt to Gamaliel Head of Little Compton, Rhode Island for purchase of slave Sublin Briggs to go into the Continental Service.1860, May 23. Notarial form for sale of slave by Joseph Soniat Dufossat to Theodore Soniat Dufossat, New Orleans, Louisiana.1862, Dec. 8. Petition to judge of the probate court to sell a slave on behalf of a minor.
  • DATE RANGE: 1920-1979
  • ITEM COUNT: ca. 46,000 items
  • The Fuchs mss. consist of the correspondence, professional and teaching files, and writings of Ralph Follen Fuchs, Indiana University Professor Emeritus of Law. Of particular interest is a file related to the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People, 1947-1955. This material reflects and documents Fuchs' keen interest in civil rights and contains source material in particular abundance on this topic, especially during the 1950s.
  • DATE RANGE: 1927-1978
  • ITEM COUNT: 144 items
  • Correspondence and writings of Lawrence Gellert, 1898-1979, composer and author of negro songs of protest.
  • DATE RANGE: 1815-1838
  • ITEM COUNT: 178 items
  • The B. Hall mss. consist of 169 sketches made in North America with the Camera Lucida in 1827-1828, by Basil Hall, naval officer and author. The sketches are of scenes, buildings, and persons made in Canada and the United States. There are some sketches of blacks.
  • DATE RANGE: 1915-1951
  • ITEM COUNT: 4,286 items
  • The Hapgood mss. are the papers of Powers Hapgood, labor leader. Of interest is a paper written by Hapgood entitled, "Industrial Unionism and the Negro Worker", April 18, 1936.
  • DATE RANGE: 1843-1930
  • ITEM COUNT: 86 items
  • The Harding mss. are papers of Stephen Selwyn Harding, lawyer, governor of Utah Territory and chief justice of Colorado Territory. An abolitionist, his letters comment on his views of slavery. Included is a typescript of Harding's undated account of the sights he witnessed in the slave markets of New Orleans in 1828.
  • DATE RANGE: 1779-1922
  • ITEM COUNT: 797 items
  • The William Henry Harrison mss. consist of photostats and transcripts of manuscript and printed material collected by Logan Esarey for his Messages and Letters of William Henry Harrison.... Included are petitions to Congress which request that slavery be allowed in the Indiana Territory.
  • DATE RANGE: 1917-1960
  • ITEM COUNT: 15,133 items
  • The Hohenberger mss. is a collection of photographs and negatives, correspondence and some writings of Frank Michael Hohenberger, photographer and newspaperman. Of particular interest are photographs of South Carolina in 1929 and 1938, and the Mardi Gras in New Orleans, 1938.
  • DATE RANGE: 1725-1983
  • The Indiana History mss. consist of correspondence and papers acquired from various sources. Of particular interest are: 1960, Mar. 1., copy. A History of Segregation and Integration in the Indianapolis Public Schools from 1847 to 1960 by Russell Adrian Lane. 1983, May, copy. Russell Adrian Lane: Biography of an Urban Negro School Administrator by Rosie Mickey. n.d. A Way Away: An Autobiography of John Lee Stewart, negro, of life in Tennessee, in Indianapolis, Ind., at Butler University, and at Indiana University.
  • DATE RANGE: 1950-1961
  • ITEM COUNT: 569 items
  • The Jones, L., mss. consist of the editorial office records of two little magazines, Yugen of which LeRoi Jones (Imamu Amiri Baraka), poet and Hettie Cohen were editors, and "The floating bear," of which Jones and Diane Di Prima, poet, were editors.
  • The Latin American mss., is a large group of material which has been arranged by country. There are many items pertaining to blacks, contact the Manuscripts Department for further information.
  • DATE RANGE: 1919-1948 and 1968
  • ITEM COUNT: 103 items
  • The McKay mss. consist principally of the correspondence of Claude McKay, poet, and Max Eastman, author. In 1944 McKay became a consultant on "Communism and the Negro" and on the Russian Revolution to the Catholic Youth Organization in Chicago.
  • DATE RANGE: 1765-1916
  • ITEM COUNT: 32,438 items
  • The Niles mss. are papers of John Barron Niles, lawyer of LaPorte, Indiana. Of particular interest are a group of mid- 1850s letters written by Isaac Burdine, 1834- , a black school teacher of LaPorte, Indiana. The Niles family correspondence also contains many references to blacks which cumulatively illustrate white attitudes towards blacks during the late 1800s. Consult the Manuscripts Department for further information.
  • DATE RANGE: 1873-1943
  • ITEM COUNT: 1,154 items
  • The Ralston, B.M.K. mss. are the letters and papers of Boyd Mercer Kerr Ralston, realtor of Indianapolis, Indiana, and brother of Governor Samuel Moffett Ralston. There are a number of 1920s letters which discuss blacks in Indianapolis.
  • DATE RANGE: 1908-1940
  • ITEM COUNT: 703 items
  • The Rauch mss. are the papers of George Washington Rauch, congressman from Marion, Indiana, 1907-1917. There are a few 1920s letters which discuss black politics and suffrage.
  • DATE RANGE: 1801-1931
  • ITEM COUNT: 282 items
  • The Rawson mss. are papers of Mary Ann Rawson, of Wincobank, Yorkshire, England. The collection is made up partly of letters to other persons, which she appears to have collected mainly because of a common interest in reform and philanthropy. Of note are a few letters which comment on slavery and slavery in the U.S. and two letters from Frederick Douglass to Mary Ann Rawson.
  • DATE RANGE: 1819-1841
  • ITEM COUNT: 4 items
  • The G.L. Rogers mss. consist of letters written by Reverend George Lawson Rogers and by his daughter. Also present is a receipt to Rogers for the purchase of "a black boy," 1841, and a newspaper clipping recounting the marriage, performed by Rev. Rogers, of Abraham Lincoln's father to his second wife, Sarah Johnston.
  • DATE RANGE: 1832-1858
  • ITEM COUNT: 27 items
  • The Sprague mss. consist primarily of letters from Scottish writer Thomas Dick to clergyman William Buell Sprague of New York. Topics discussed in their letters are slavery and the abolition movement in the U.S.
  • The U.S. History mss., is a collection of miscellaneous items which have been acquired from various sources. Of particular interest:1796, Aug. 3. Inventory and appraisement of slaves and livestock of the estate of William Logan, deceased. 1811, Dec. 17. Letter from Andrew Jackson, U.S. president to Mrs. Rachel Jackson in which he writes he expects to be detained preparing the negroes for the wilderness. 1822, July 8. Extradition document. On the return of a fugitive slave to Kentucky. 1837, Apr. 3. Deed of emancipation of four of Robert Logan's slaves. 1841, Sept. 5. Letter from Hiram S. Thomas to Jonas D. Thomas discussing race riots in Cincinnati, Ohio. 1847, May 20. Letter from John Rhodes Russell to Thomas Trevitt which mentions the purchase of a Negro girl. 1850, Nov. 22. Receipt for payment of portions of two notes for two negro boys. 1855, Aug. 6. From Owen Lovejoy, congressman to Archibald Williams. States anti-slavery platform. 1856, Sept. Report of J.E. Huffman to the Lincoln County, Kentucky Circuit Court, as commissioner he is appointed to sell five slaves. 1857, Feb. 12. Certificate granting the slave named Ellen her freedom. 1865, Feb. 1. The Thirteenth Amendment written by Abraham Lincoln.
  • DATE RANGE: 1930-1959
  • ITEM COUNT: 19,875 items
  • The Welles mss. consist of the correspondence, papers, and memorabilia of actor, writer, producer, director Orson Welles. Of particular interest are the materials relating to the Welles-directed 1936 WPA Negro People's Theatre production of Macbeth, the 1941 production of Native Son, and of the abortive film venture, It's All True.
  • DATE RANGE: 1860-1868
  • ITEM COUNT: 39 items
  • The Wilder mss. consist of letters to Edson Adelman Wilder, hardware merchant of Orland, Indiana, from his friends and relatives serving in the 100th regiment, co. B., of the Indiana Infantry. One of the topics discussed in the letters is the condition of blacks.
  • DATE RANGE: 1934-1945
  • ITEM COUNT: ca. 500,000 items
  • The Willkie mss. are the papers of Wendell Lewis Willkie, utilities company executive and Republican nominee for president in 1940. There is a file of material related to Willkie's dealing with the NAACP and speeches Willkie made pertaining to the race question and World War II.
  • DATE RANGE: 1899-1957
  • ITEM COUNT: 22,232 items
  • The Wirt mss. consist of correspondence and papers of William Albert Wirt, educator and of his wife, Mildred Wirt, teacher. Wirt attracted public attention by his application of new educational methods, 1907-1938, as superintendent of schools, Gary, Indiana. He developed the so-called "Gary system" of education which kept children (most of them minorities) off the streets and lengthened school hours including vocational and recreational subjects in the curriculum.
  • DATE RANGE: 1795-1942
  • ITEM COUNT: 752 items
  • The Woodburn mss. consist of letters and papers of four generations of the Woodburn family. Of particular interest are letters and papers of Dorrance Beatty Woodburn, farmer, which relate to slavery, 1826-1828. Originally a member of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, he left that church about 1823 on account of his opposition to slavery and joined the Reformed Presbyterian Church, which was one of the earliest sects to openly condemn slavery.
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For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call(812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.