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Peek in the Stacks: united states

The Stiles E. Forsha Collection

Special Collections and Archives holds a number of collections that document the history of the American Civil War through personal narratives, photographs, correspondence, and official records. While small collections are sometimes overlooked by researchers, their contents can often pique our curiosity and lead to fascinating discoveries about...

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The Edwin Booth Family Collection

Edwin Thomas Booth may be best known as the brother of John Wilkes Booth, assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, but Edwin was one of the most famous American Shakespearean actors of the nineteenth century. The Booths were a family of actors beginning with...

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Curiosities, Rarities, and Ephemera in Special Collections and Archives

In general, archival collections are primarily made up of manuscript collections and published materials which are used for scholarly research. However, many collections also yield unusual and unique items in the form of rare ephemera, one of a kind or single issue publications, and curious objects that cannot be categorized. These items, captured through human ingenuity and inventiveness, reflect...

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Ku Klux Klan, Realm of California Collection

In 1915, the second Ku Klux Klan was founded by William J. Simmons in Atlanta, Georgia. By the 1920s, social tensions brought on by rapid industrialization and increased immigration in urban areas had set the stage for the Klan’s expanding popularity. Unlike the first Klan, the second Klan was...

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Physical Culture in the 19th Century

Sport, athletics, and the quest for fitness have been important parts of American life for over a century. What was originally called "Physical Culture" emerged in Europe and the US during the 19th century, and resulted in a fundamental reorientation of life and cultural ideals in the US by the turn of the twentieth century....

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James F. Dargan Civil War Diary and Scrapbook

James F. Dargan was born in the town of Randolph, Norfolk County, Massachusetts in 1843. Dargan was the eldest of six children born to Irish immigrants, and by the age of seventeen worked as a boot maker in his father’s shop. On September 17, 1862, at the age of nineteen, he enlisted in the Union Army, 4th Regiment, Massachusetts Infantry....

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Interview with Helen Thomas

Special Collections and Archives houses a unique oral interview with Helen Thomas (1920-2013), long-time member of the White House press corps (1961-2010), in the Tom W. Reilly Collection. She was well known in the White House, among the press corps, and by political pundits. Her White House career spanned the service of ten presidents, from John F. Kennedy to Barack Obama. She was also....

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