Heritage Unit News: Manuscript Finding Aids

This month we’ll be highlighting finding aids for manuscript collections from both Reese Library’s Special Collections & Institutional Archives, and Greenblatt Library’s Historical Collections & Archives. Finding aids are tools that that help researchers determine whether a manuscript collection will be helpful for their research, and generally include a summary of collection materials, some background information about the people or organizations represented in the collection, and a list of collection materials.


Back in 1979, the Estate of Boykin Wright donated his papers to Reese Library’s Special Collections & Institutional Archives, but until this past year, no one had dug through the collection to get an idea of the full scope of the materials. Boykin Wright’s name might ring a bell, as his home is now a building on the Augusta University Summerville campus, and was named Boykin Wright Hall in his honor. Boykin Wright (1852-1932) was a Supreme Court Judge and practiced law in Augusta in the late 19th through the early 20th century. This collection is notable due not only to Wright’s important role in the Augusta community at this time, but also because the collection contains a substantial amount of WWI correspondence. Both Wright’s son, Boykin Cabell Wright, and his son-in-law, James Frazer Hillman, fought in France during WWI, and Boykin Wright’s correspondence with these two men allows us to get a glimpse of what life was like during WWI for those left at home well loved ones fought abroad. Now that this collection has been processed, researchers can investigate the materials for themselves through the finding aid available to those off campus here, and those on campus here.

-Kara Flynn, Special Collections Librarian



John Dunn Lane, Jr. graduated from the Medical College of Georgia in 1927 and began a 31-year-long career in the United States Public Health Service (USPHS) in 1929 as a medical officer. He served primarily at the Baltimore and Staten Island USPHS hospitals where he organized the surgical residency training programs in which he outlined the entire program, obtained the accreditation, and supervised the training for Board requirements in surgery. Lane conducted extensive research, including original experimental work on the consecutive treatment of perforated peptic ulcer. Lane retired from the USPHS as a medical director with the rank of captain and officer grade of 06. After his death in 1995 his widow, Yvette, donated to the Greenblatt Library his personal items which included a scrapbook and mementos of his assignment in 1959 as a special medical consultant to the Brewster Senate Committee on military affairs in the investigation of the Malmedy massacre of World War II. Most the items of the John D. Lane, Jr. Collection is on display in the Greenblatt Library’s Historical Collections and Archives Room. Following the death of Mrs. Lane in 2002, the John D. and Yvette J. Lane Endowment was established with the MCG Foundation with a gift of over $3 million to provide scholarship support to the Medical College of Georgia. The finding aid for the John D. Lane, Jr. Collection can be viewed here.

-Renée Sharrock, Historical Collections & Archives Curator