Printed Material

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The E. L. McGlashan Collection of Papers Concerning Slavery in the United States consists of bills of sale, receipts, estate records, and other material documenting slave ownership and the slave trade in the United States. The papers span the dates 1770-1862, and predominantly document transactions in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Kentucky, and Alabama. There are also records which document legal actions involving slaves in Maine, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana.

This is a rare copy of a play about slavery, published in Mexico in 1825. Totaling 65 pages, the play is billed as a “melodrama in two acts.”

Amassed by Frederick Hill Meserve with the help of his daughter Dorothy Meserve Kunhardt, the collection contains more than 73,000 items, including 57,000 photographic prints, as well as thousands of books, pamphlets, maps, and theater broadsides. These materials document American history from the Civil War through the end of the 19th century and record the emergence of photography as a distinctive cultural practice. The collection’s significance also lies in the tens of thousands of portraits of American politicians, army officers (of both the Union and Confederate forces), writers, actors, singers, scientists, African Americans, and Native Americans.

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The Yale University Art Gallery owns several different versions of the Emancipation Proclamation, issued in different shapes and sizes and utilizing different visual techniques. Most of these posters date from the period of the Civil War, although this elaborate color lithograph was produced in 1890.

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The Medical Books collection at the Medical Historical Library contains rare books from the 15th through 19th centuries. Some of the books pertain directly to slavery or abolition, such as Lucretia Mott’s Sermon to the Medical Students. Others deal with slavery indirectly, such as Lorenzo Fowler’s Illustrated Phrenological Almanac, which published an image and analysis of Amistad captive Sarah (Margru) Kinson.

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