This collection contains the papers of the Perkins and other related families. Materials include correspondence, personal and professional papers, photographs, artwork, publications, and other papers. The collection documents the experiences of seven related families that eventually settled in Kane County, Illinois, in the mid-nineteenth century.
The collection is organized into ten series. Eight of the series are arranged by family member, while the final two series are Personal Papers and Publications.
Family members that are most fully represented by the materials in the collection include Francis "Frank" B. Perkins, a member of the Elgin (Illinois) Board of Education and a Civil War veteran; Frank's son, Thomas E. Perkins, a musician; and Thomas' son, Alfred J. Perkins, a chemist educated at Johns Hopkins University who served in the U.S. Army Chemical Corps during World War II. Alfred also held appointments at the Argonne National Laboratory and on the faculty of the College of Pharmacy of the University of Illinois in Chicago.
Also included is Augustine Raymond, superintendent of the Chenango Canal in New York, and Harvey Raymond, engaged in the construction of the Illinois and Michigan Canal at Lockport, Illinois. The collection contains personal letters between Augustine and his wife Nancy, as well as the letters of Harvey regarding the Rock River Valley and the development of northern Illinois, both in 1837 and 1838. The Mann family papers include letters of Alfred J. Mann, superintendent of Elgin, Illinois, in the late nineteenth century.
The collection was donated to the Library in 2008 by Claudia Perkins Schechter, Alice Perkins McCartor, and James T. Perkins, children of Alfred J. and Antoinette Partridge Perkins.