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C. B. Nichols scrapbooks

Call Number



circa 1860 to 1896, inclusive


Nichols, C. B.


2.4 Linear Feet in two flat boxes and one manuscript box

Language of Materials

Materials are in English.


The collection includes five scrapbooks of Civil War era artifacts. Two scrapbooks hold envelopes with Union-themed images. One scrapbook includes Confederacy and Confederate state artifacts, especially currency and securities. Another scrapbook holds examples of various forms of scrip, not necessarily War-related, from several states. The final scrapbook holds a variety of documents on Union-related themes, including various Sanitary Commission fairs and other relief efforts, Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth of the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, and the Lincoln assassination.


The collection includes five scrapbooks numbered 2 through 6 (see inside front covers) and are boxed in order.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes five scrapbooks of Civil War era artifacts. The volumes are numbered two through six, as indicated on the inside front covers.

Volume 2 (1861-1866): Includes a wide variety of material, including envelopes with printed images (e.g., patriotic themes, caricatures, political cartoons, military insignias); sewn miniature flags, emblems, etc.; handbills (e.g., reward for the capture of Lincoln's assassins, "Colored men to arms!" recruitment of African-Americans to the military); and copies of military orders. There is much material on various Sanitary Commission fairs and other relief efforts, especially from the Brooklyn and Long Island Fair and the Philadelphia Grand Central Fair. One specific relief initiative represented in the volume includes specifications for women knitting woolen socks for the soldiers. There are also several documents related to Colonel Elmer E. Ellsworth of the 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment (the New York Fire Zouaves), including a carte-de-visite.

Volume 3 (circa 1861-1865): Envelopes with Union-themed images. (Same as volume 6.)

Volume 4 (1862-1867): Various forms of scrip, including bearer demand notes for currency or store credit from cities and other municipalities, the post office, banks, and businesses. Various states are represented including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Utah, California, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

Volume 5 (circa 1860-circa 1896, with bulk from 1862-63): Confederacy and Confederate states-related artifacts, including cartes-de-visite, currency, counterfeit currency, bonds, envelopes with images, sewn miniature state flags, and clippings (most of which are post-war).

Volume 6 (circa 1861-1865): Envelopes with Union-themed images. (Same as volume 3.)

In addition to the scrapbooks, the collection contains one copy print of a 19th century photograph of a group of women holding an American flag (or quilt) in a gallery.

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

The material is in the public domain.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date (if known); C. B. Nichols scrapbooks, 1974.134, Box and Folder number; Brooklyn Historical Society.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The scrapbooks were donated to the Long Island Historical Society (now Brooklyn Historical Society) by Percival Nichols of Bridgeton, Connecticut.

Separated Materials

The collection originally held seven scrapbooks. In 1998, volume 7 was disbound and the approximately 30 items it held were assigned a new accession number (V1998.60) and separated for processing into Brooklyn Historical Society's general photograph collection. From the records in the collection's accession file, it appears that most of these items were images in the format of lithographs and newspaper clippings. An effort was made in 2011 to find these items and bring them back into the collection, but they could not be located. Volume 1 was also removed from the collection sometime after 1980. Its contents are uncertain but appear to have included Confederate state currency, like Volume 5. It also could not be located in 2011.

Related Materials

Brooklyn Historical Society holds these related collections:

The United States, Confederate States, and foreign currency collection (call number 1974.120) is a compilation of paper money, some of which is similar to that found in the Nichols collection.

The William Irwin Martin Civil War envelopes (call number 1974.259) is a scrapbook of envelopes similar to that found in the Nichols collection.

Collection processed by

Larry Weimer (2011); Updated by John Zarrillo (2014)

About this Guide

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on 2023-08-21 11:18:09 +0000.
Using Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language: Finding aid written in English.

Processing Information

The collection was processed in December 2011 by Larry Weimer.


Brooklyn Historical Society
Center for Brooklyn History
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201