John E. Boos Collection

 Collection
Identifier: MSS.0048

Scope and Contents

The John E. Boos Collection is a collection of books of that contain letters, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and other ephemera pertaining to the Civil War, more specifically Abraham Lincoln and the legacy he has left. The letters are of special interest to historians, as they come from people who lived during the Civil War and may have encountered Lincoln. Over the span of several decades, John E. Boos contacted thousands of people who lived during the Civil War, asking for their written memories of the time, or any specific points of interest about Lincoln.

The collection is arranged chronologically by publication date, starting with 1917 the latest being 1968. Each book documents different aspects of the war’s legacy, ranging from newspaper clippings that mention Lincoln’s name to memories of Confederate soldiers’ experiences. “The manuscript was put together in the first couple of decades of the twentieth century when some of those who had seen Lincoln were still alive. John E. Boos was an avid autograph collector, a devotee of Abraham Lincoln and the soldiers who fought in the Civil War. His text for the book does not give a complete transcript of each item he collected, but does talk about the items and provides some context for the items” (Amazon.com). The typical format of these books is a brief typed biographical sketch of the letter writers, followed by the physical letter and a typed version to accompany it.

Some notable components of the John E. Boos Collection include commentary on Lincoln’s oratorical style, opinions on Ulysses S. Grant as a general, and encounters with Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy.

A significant number of these letters come from New York; Boos lived in Albany.

Dates

  • 1917 - 1968

Biographical Note - John E. Boos

John E. Boos avidly collected transcripts of memories from those who were alive during the Civil War, hoping to amass information on Abraham Lincoln. He wrote to a range of people, from Union and Confederate veterans to people whose parents encountered major Civil War figures. Over the span of several decades in the 20th century, Boos collected this information and bound the ephemera and typed transcripts into a series of 19 books.

Extent

2.1 Linear Feet (5 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The John E. Boos Collection is a collection of books of that contain letters, newspaper clippings, pamphlets and other ephemera pertaining to the Civil War, more specifically Abraham Lincoln and the legacy he has left. The letters are of special interest to historians, as they come from people who lived during the Civil War and may have encountered Lincoln. Over the span of several decades, John E. Boos contacted thousands of people who lived during the Civil War, asking for their written memories of the time, or any specific points of interest about Lincoln.

Physical Location

Special Collections & Archives

Provenance Statement

This collection was donated to Vanderbilt University in the 1960’s.

Title
Finding Aid for the John E. Boos Collection
Status
Completed
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the Vanderbilt University Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Jean and Alexander Heard Library
419 21st Avenue South
Nashville TN 37203 United States


 

About this Site

This site contains collection guides, or finding aids, to the archival collections held by Vanderbilt University Special Collections and University Archives, the History of Medicine Collection, and the Scarritt Bennett Center. Finding aids describe the context, arrangement, and structure of archival materials, allowing users to identify and request materials relevant to their research.

Requesting Materials

Each finding aid contains a link to request materials from the collections. Collections can also be requested by emailing the repository directly through the library website. Each repository has its own location, hours, and contact information. Please consult the repository with questions about using the materials. Collections are non-circulating and must be used in the repository’s reading room. In many cases, the collections are stored off-site and require advance notice for retrieval.