Scope and Content Note

The incoming correspondence, mainly directed to Dorr is in the Museum Letter Books; the outgoing correspondence is in the Letter Press Books. The Letter Books dating from February 1876 to December 1904, contain the incoming correspondence regarding the acquisitions, the collection, exhibitions, the staff, Memorial Hall repairs, and the overall establishment of the Museum and schools. The letters were numbered, indexed and pasted into books.

Letter Press Books from the Museum date from April 1876 to April 1901 and contain tissue-paper copies of outgoing Museum correspondence, all indexed. The letters written were dampened and pressed into a book of tissue-paper leaves which then transferred an ink copy to that page. The inks used would have to have been very stable to withstand this treatment and still retain enough ink on the original page. Not all outgoing correspondence was so copied; routine answers to queries usually were not copied. (After 1901 it would appear that carbon paper came into popular usage. The typewriter first came into extensive use during the 1890s.)