Barrett, Oliver R. Papers, 1933-1952 | Illinois History and Lincoln Collections
This collection consists of correspondence between Oliver R. Barrett and Carl Sandburg, as well as letters sent to each of them.
Oliver Barrett (1873-1950) was a Chicago lawyer and Lincoln collector. Carl Sandburg, an Illinois writer best known for his poetry, was also a Lincoln scholar who wrote several biographies on Abraham Lincoln. Barrett's collection of Lincoln materials caught the interest of Sandburg, and the two became friends and collaborators starting in the mid-1930s. When Sandburg wrote Abraham Lincoln: The War Years (1939), no one worked with him more extensively than Barrett did, and on the dedication of that work Sandburg began with Barrett. Sandburg published an entire book to acknowledge his indebtedness to Barrett. Lincoln Collector: The Story of Oliver R. Barrett's Great Private Collection was published in 1949.
This collection contains copies of correspondence sent between Barrett and Sandburg, as well as considerable correspondence from others to each of them, most of which relates to Sandburg's Lincoln books, some of which Barrett answered for Sandburg, and Lincoln collecting. Also included are Sandburg notes and writings, photographs, clippings, and information relating to Barrett's estate auction.
The Library acquired this collection in 2013. It was previously acquired by C.E. Van Norman at the auction of Barrett's estate in 1952.
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