MSU Library and African American Studies Partner on a Frank and Virginia Professor of Abraham Lincoln and Civil War Studies

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

This professorship will "create a vision and plan to advance the use of the Frank and Virginia Collection of Lincolniana by promoting the collection to a diverse population of scholars, patrons, organization, and communities and providing access to this important resource."

This professor will oversee the "cataloging of the artwork and artifacts in the William Collection of Lincolniana" and "will develop programming around the themes in the Williams Collection." The professor will also teach an occasional course in the African American Studies Program.

August 2023 is the target starting date for the position.

The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection of Lincolniana represents a lifetime of collecting documents, books, artifacts, ephemera, philately, numismatics, paintings, and statuary related to the life of Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War in general. Frank Williams began his collection as a child and has added to it all his life. The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection vividly documents his life and collecting activities. In 2017, Frank and Virginia Williams donated their Lincolniana Collection to Mississippi State University.

The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection is accompanied by the Claude Simmonds Collection, which contains clippings of twentieth-century newspaper, magazine, and journal articles that reference Lincoln. The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection also includes several other smaller collections featuring original manuscripts; of note is the Abraham Lincoln Original Manuscript Collection which contains numerous original letters and legal documents written by Abraham Lincoln. Other manuscript collections include: the McCorison Collection, Carl Schurz Collection, R.L. Hoxie Correspondence Collection, Bernhardt Wall Collection, Peleq Clarke Jr. Collection, and others. Finding aids for these manuscript collections are available online in the MSU Libraries’ ArchivesSpace system.

The late David M. Rich (cataloger at Brown University) and Alfred Calabreta (Curator of Collections at Mystic Seaport, the Museum of America and the Sea) began cataloging and inventorying the collection in the mid-1980s. After 2017, MSU Libraries faculty and staff finished cataloging the book and pamphlet collections. MSU Library faculty and staff also completed inventorying the objects and ephemera pieces within the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection. Every item has been assigned a unique number. Full cataloging of the artifacts and ephemera continues. MSU Library faculty and staff work diligently to ensure that all inventories and cataloging were completed according to Library of Congress standards.

MSU Library faculty and staff will build upon Rich’s and Calabreta’s work, by loading the records for the Frank and Virginia Williams Collection into the MSU Libraries online catalog and into OCLC WorldCat. By loading catalog records into the MSU Libraries online catalog and into OCLC WorldCat, this collection will be more accessible to researchers globally. The MSU Libraries continues to digitize The Frank and Virginia Williams Collection into our online digital collection repository.

<< More News