Atwater, Elizabeth Emerson. Record Book, 1847-1876 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection includes a scrapbook inventory of Mrs. E. E. Atwater's collection of artifacts. Artifacts include architectural and cultural remnants from around the world, botanical specimens, mineral fragments, and Civil War battlefield relics.
Elizabeth Emerson Atwater was born in Norwich, Vermont on August 8, 1812. She went to boarding school in Troy, New York, where she became interested in botany. From this interest, Atwater would go on to become a noted naturalist and collector. In Chicago, she connected with the Academy of Sciences and deposited most of her collection with the Academy for safekeeping. Unfortunately, it was all destroyed in the Great Fire of 1871.
This collection consists of one book (titled Transactions of the Department of Agriculture of the State of Illinois with Reports from County Agricultural Boards for the Year 1874) that was repurposed as a scrapbook. Pieces of paper with notes about Atwater's artifacts were glued to the pages of the book. She inventoried her collection in 50 pages of this book, noting the origin of each item, and when and from whom she received the item.
The volume was transferred from the Rare Book Room to the Illinois Historical Survey, predecessor of the Illinois History and Lincoln Collections, in April 1967. Additional scrapbooks of Mrs. E. E. Atwater's collections are located at the Chicago History Museum and the Chicago Academy of Sciences/Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum.