James G. Randall (1881-1953), professor of History at the University of Illinois, created this collection of photostatic and microfilm copies of Lincoln and Lincoln-related letters and documents from the originals in other collections.
Part 1 of the collection includes photostats of items in the "Herndon-Weik" collection that were made in the 1930s, after the deaths of William H. Herndon (1818-1891) and Jesse W. Weik (1857-1930), and before the Library of Congress acquired the collection in 1941. In the intervening years, the University of Illinois Library obtained from Emanuel Hertz, the lawyer for the owners of the Herndon-Weik collection, the opportunity to make photostatic copies of a portion of the collection. The Library then bound those copies. Those volumes constitute Part I of the Randall collection of Lincoln material.
For a discussion of the Herndon-Weik and Hertz manuscript collections, see David Herbert Donald, "Herndon: Lincoln's Law Partner" (Ph.D. diss. University of Illinois, 1946), 300-3. Those collections are also cited in Donald, Lincoln's Herndon (New York: Knopf, 1948), 376. [Henry Clinton Bell, "Herndonian Sources on Lincoln" (M.A. thesis, University of Illinois, 1940) is based on Hertz photostats at Illinois before the Library of Congress acquired the Herndon-Weik collection.]
Part 2 of the collection includes the Herndon-Weik collection as initially microfilmed on 14 reels by the Library of Congress. Reel 15 of this set contains a card index to the collection. More recently, however, the Library rearranged and renumbered the collection. It is now variously cited. Herndon's Informants: Letters, Interviews, and Statements about Abraham Lincoln, ed. Douglas L. Wilson and Rodney O. Davis (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1998), for example, uses the new organization.
Part 3 contains microfilm prints in chronological order of Groups IV and V of the Herndon-Weik collection as first organized and filmed by the Library of Congress.
A card catalog, the "Herndon Index" to the Herndon-Weik collection provides alphabetical access to Herndon's correspondents. Also indexed but filed in the separate Hertz collection are "Herndon Monographs, Fragments, etc." and "Misc. (non-Herndon material)," mainly correspondence addressed to Hertz. David Donald (1920-2009), one of Randall's students, compiled these indexes after Randall himself prepared a preliminary inventory of the collection. The collection includes a negative microfilm of Donald's index and both positive and negative microfilms of Randall's inventory.
Part 4 of the Randall collection contains photostats of Lincoln-related material, other than Herndon-Weik material, in the Library of Congress. These photostats are bound in seventeen volumes and cataloged as Q.973.7L6381.
Part 5 of the collection contains photostats of Lincoln-related material in manuscript collections other than the Library of Congress. These photostats are bound in seven volumes and cataloged as Q.973.7L638.
Part 6 contains sixteen reels of "Lincoln Data" on microfilm. With the development of microfilm, Randall collected research material in that form rather than as photostats.
The Library's James G. and Ruth Painter Randall collections came to the Library after their deaths. For related material, see entries for James G. Randall Papers (MS 426), the Ruth Painter Randall Papers (MS 196), and the Emanuel Hertz collection (MS 676) in this database. Randall's career is also represented in collections of his papers at the Library of Congress and in the University of Illinois Archives.