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New McRae Postings and Access Policy

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  • New McRae Postings and Access Policy

    Happy New Year to everyone! The SCCRRMM wanted to start off 2008 by posting a new McRae document and the new McRae research access policy. Paul posted parts of an October 24, 1864 invoice demonstrating purchasing of armaments and supplies and the prices paid for these goods.

    Additionally, we are moving ahead with processing the McRae Collection in order to allow researchers to have access. We hope to have the military papers in the collection available by research appointment on June 1, 2008. The family papers on are schedule to be available by January 1, 2009.

    Thanks again for all of your support,
    Krissy Dunn
    Curator of History
    South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

    McRae Archival Collection Access Policy
    South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum
    Effective December 1, 2007

    About the Collection
    The McRae Archival Collections consists of the business and family papers of Colin J. McRae. McRae served as the Confederacy’s chief financial agent in Europe from the fall of 1863 through the end of the Civil War. The papers contain over 2500 documents of various types from the 1830s – 1870s. About 1000 documents pertain to the Civil War. Most of the Civil War-related documents are invoices, financial papers, and letters McRae used during his audit of Caleb Huse (Confederate purchasing agent in Europe before McRae). Other papers deal with McRae’s actions as purchasing agent and his work to centralize Confederate purchasing overseas between 1863 and 1865. The collection includes a few postwar documents involving the Federal investigation of McRae and his move to Belize, British Honduras. Major content includes invoices and receipts for weapons, equipment and supplies purchased for the Confederate army and navy, as well as documents dealing with cotton bonds and the blockade. Other papers deal with his family and personal business matters in Mississippi and Alabama. These family papers contain receipts, letters, account and inventory statements, deeds, promissory notes, checks, bills, legal documents, and personal notes.

    Access Policy
    The collection is currently being processed by the Curator of History under the direction of the Chief Curator of Collections and Exhibitions. The collection is being processed according to standards developed by the American Association of Museums and Society of American Archivists. The SC Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum is accredited by the American Association of Museums. Since the collection is not completely processed, complete public access will not be available until the collection is thoroughly processed and arranged according to professional museum and archival standards. The McRae Collection represents a very rare archive and the museum must take all precautions regarding the collection’s handling and arrangement. The collection will thus be closed for research between December 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008. The family papers will be closed through January 31, 2009. It is important the materials remain undisturbed while they are being professionally arranged and described. Disturbances and the movement of records during this process could result in disorder of the collection and a longer processing period, thus delaying reasonable access for a longer time.

    Once the collection is processed (see attached processing schedule) the museum’s Curator of History will make the collection available for researchers on equal terms of access according to the museum’s archival policy. These conditions are to protect and insure the continued availability of the archival materials.
    1. The Curator of History may limit the use and handling of extremely fragile or unusually valuable materials. If practical, suitable reproductions are made available for the use of all researchers.
    2. The archival materials must be viewed within the area designated by the Curator of History. Pencils and laptops may be used. Ink pens, markers, or non-erasable writing devices are not permitted near archival collections.
    3. The Curator of History may refuse access to an individual researcher who has demonstrated carelessness or deliberate destructiveness as to endanger the safety of the material.
    4. Required Credit Line: Courtesy South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum, Columbia, SC.
    5. The researcher and his/her publisher have sole responsibility for securing permission to publish from unpublished materials in the museum’s collections. Permission must be obtained to reproduce and or publish images of any object or document from the collections of the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room & Military Museum. Please ask Curator of History for “Permission to Publish” form. There will be a reasonable and modest fee charged for duplications. Commercial ventures will be charged according to the museum’s fee schedule. Ask Curator of History for current fee schedule.

    Schedule for McRae Archival Collection Processing:
    December 1, 2007-May 31, 2008 – complete processing of business papers, including series development, re-housing and creation of finding aid

    June 1, 2008-January 31, 2009 – complete inventory of family papers, processing, including series development, re-housing and creation of finding aid.
    Krissy Dunn Johnson
    Curator of History
    SC Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum

  • #2
    Re: New McRae Postings and Access Policy

    Thanks Krissy!

    Folks, this is great news for anyone interested in studying CS finance, supply and material culture. In the larger picture, this collection gives us a better view of the Confederate Government's internal structures and subsequent funtions. Very good news, indeed!

    Now a word to my fellow living historians. Folks, I sometimes wonder how much we're really after to accomplish in this hobby. Many are content just to show up at events or keyboard campaign about them. Hey, that's fine, really. There are others though that see this hobby in a higher or larger context. I personally see the authentic, research driven community filling the gap on material culture study that many institutions don't possess. Allen has mentioned this "role" many times as being much, much needed. Not only that, our collective "buying power" in theory (with several thousand registered users on the AC) should be rather hefty. Why not step up and make a donation through the AC to this worthy cause? I know Dusty would be glad to hear from you too!

    Numerous academics are literally knocking on the door for access so we owe the SCCRR&M a huge thanks for allowing this community "first access". See folks, we're accomplishing something here other than flogging the best defarb! My encouragement is three fold regarding all this:

    1) Make the effort to get out and view, photograph English articles-check the knapsack thread too.
    2) Prompt vendors to acquire patterns for English goods and reproduce them with exacting quality
    3) Donate & come for a visit!

    Please continue to monitor all these threads and jump in the discussion. New users shouldn't be intimidated to ask questions either.

    Once again Krissy, thanks!

    Neill Rose