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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Finding Manuscripts in ArchiveGrid

Recently, thanks to an article in Bill Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter, I've now heard about ArchiveGrid. I don't understand many of the words on the website's About ArchiveGrid page because I'm neither an academic or an archivist, but I do know the value of a website that allows Boolean searches of manuscript collections at more than 1,000 archives.

I searched for "Bonnell" and 359 results came up. "Bunnell" brought up 610.

To pick a few at random:
Bonnell Harold Stone family papers circa 1980 (University of Georgia–Special Collections Library)  four items: two letters from Mildred Mayo, one addressed to Mr. Campbell, regarding Bonnell and Stone families, and the biography Campbell is writing about Mayo’s father, Bonnell Harold Stone; and two drafts of Bonnell Harold Stone’s biography.
Bonnell Family Photographs ca 1880s-1950s (New Mexico State University-Archives and Special Collections) Photos taken on the Bonnell Ranch ca 1915-1955.
George Bonnell Collection of Your Show of Show Scripts (New York Public Library) My mother's favorite TV show.
Bonnell, Jay H. (University of Michigan–Bentley Historical Library) Reminises 1919 and photo album of the "Polar Bear expedition 1918-1919 

Clicking on the record brings up more information. Naturally I was curious. What the heck is the Polar Bear Expedition. The details say "Member of the 339th Infantry sent to northern Russia during World War 1." Doesn't that sound interesting? There's a record for it in WorldCat, but with much less detail. My son's at the University of Michigan and I asked him to make a copy of the typescript for me if he can. There's a story here.

Those examples have Bonnell in the collection name. Here's some that don't:
Library of Congress–National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections–includes correspondence of Pvt. Richard W. Bonnell serving with Co. I of 101st Ohio Infantry Regiment.
Letters, 1766 Chenevix, Richard 1696-1779 (Yale University)–includes correspondence concerning the disposition of the estate of Jane Bonnell (died 1747).

Other gems include Edith Bonnell's letters about her family's movements during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, as well as many genealogy collections (like William Austin's).

So happy hunting. If you find something write it up and send it to me. We'll share it in a blog post.

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