Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Display items- GAR and WRC pins

There is an eclectic assortment of 3-dimensional objects, mostly smaller ones, in a collection the staff created, which is referred to as an artificial collection. Our artificial collection in the Clarke is called "Display Items". It was created to house the 3-dimensional objects that weren't books nor were they manuscripts, so what to do with them? Some were purchased at yard or estate sales in order to get books and manuscripts. Some are not related to any collections we have, but were not worth the time and effort to weed them out. Some go with collections we have, but years ago were separated physically from the paper. Some are out of state, out of scope, but again, not worth the time to weed. Originally the plan was just to have a collection to put such items in, with the hope that some would be interesting pieces to display in certain relevant exhibits.

Several years ago, one of my students typed up a very long inventory of the Display Items, describing the materials. I'm going to document some of these items in future posts. They are currently pinned (if the pin holds) to foamcor board in boxes. This allows them to hang and not get battered. Those without pins or with broken pins are in acid-free envelopes.

Here are some examples of our GAR and WRC (Grand Army of the Republic, and Woman's Relief Corps) pins. The GAR was the national veterans organization for all Union veterans. The GAR held gatherings or encampments, at the state and national level, 1866- 1949. The last GAR member died in 1956. The WRC was an auxiliary women's group, a companion to the GAR. It was founded in 1883 and still exists. Here are some fun pins to help you think great patriotic thoughts and thoughtfully consider the hardships of the men and women who proudly wore them after, amazingly, surviving the American Civil War. Dates that are visible and legible range from 1902, 1906-7, 1909, 1911, 1913, 19117, and 1927.







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