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Ulysses S. Milburn Illustrated Lecture Photograph Collection

Ulysses S. Milburn Illustrated Lecture Photograph Collection

Collection Number: 
Collection Length: 
1910 to 1940
Finding Aid: 
Portrait of Rev. Ulysses S. Milburn

Ulysses Sumner Milburn was born in Black Lick, Ohio in 1865 and attended St. Lawrence University, graduating from the Theological School in 1891. He served 47 years in active Universalist ministry in Ohio, Maryland, New York, Missouri and Massachusetts. He married Alice Dinsmore Milburn in 1910 and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from his Alma Mater in 1927. U.S. Milburn was most famous for his large collection of books, manuscripts, letters and other items of the 19th century American novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne, which was donated to the University in 1949. Milburn was also a traveler, photographer and lecturer. Following his retirement from the ministry, Milburn concentrated not only on building his Hawthoriana collection, but busied himself giving a variety of “illustrated travel lectures” to associations and community groups in New England.

The majority of items in this collection consist of hand-colored photo glass slides, glass slide negatives and gel negatives of scenery, buildings and people in England, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland and other European countries; Mexico, Central and South America, and Africa. Other slides and negatives deal with pre-Columbian native burial mounds in the United States, Hawthorne and Whittier-related lecture material, religious images, songs and hymns. The collection is organized into two series, with series 1 being glass slides (photographs) and series 2 glass and gel photographic negatives.

The collection was donated to St. Lawrence University by Dr. Milburn shortly after his Hawthorne collection was donated; ca. 1950/51. Correspondence between Milburn and SLU Librarian Andrew Peters around the time the slides were donated indicates Milburn would also be donating "notes" for his lecture materials as well as the slides. The whereabouts of the lecture notes is not known and is not part of this collection.