boston University, Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center

Overview: The holdings at Boston University’s Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center consist of materials related to the fields of literature, journalism, drama, music, film, civil rights, and national affairs and diplomacy. The Center specializes in contemporary materials; however, it is also home to historical documents stretching back to the sixteenth century, as well as a large collection of rare books. Major historical collections include materials related to signers of the Declaration of Independence, military history, nursing history, Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Franz Liszt. Documents at the Center include manuscripts, drafts, galleys, notes, journals, diaries, scrapbooks, reviews, memorabilia, photographs, and personal and professional correspondence.

American Revolution Materials: The Bortman Collection of Americana is Boston University’s source of American Revolution-related materials. The collection covers the first two centuries of American history and consists of over two-thousand manuscripts and printed sources. Manuscripts connected to the Revolution include two British reports about the Stamp Act and a report by Henry Clinton on the state of the war for Britain in 1781. Manuscripts containing a patriot perspective of the Revolution include a resolution passed by the Massachusetts General Court in the fall of 1777 calling for troops. The collection also includes a chaplain’s diary detailing the British siege and evacuation of Boston.

Printed materials relating to the Revolution within the Bortman Collection include books, pamphlets, and broadsides. These documents range from published orations and proclamations following military activity to contemporary newspaper accounts. The collection also includes charters, bills, and military papers belonging to the British and the Americans, as well as Massachusetts election sermons and Fourth of July orations from the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Key Words: books, Boston, British army, Henry Clinton, commemorations, government documents, Massachusetts General Court, manuscripts, periodicals, receipts, siege of Boston, soldiers/militia, Stamp Act, treatises

Collection Policies: Boston University’s Archive Center is actively expanding its holdings, but not in the area of the American Revolution: the institution’s collection focus is on twentieth- and twenty-first-century individuals and organizations. Most new acquisitions are either gifts or on deposit. The Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center does not lend original materials to other institutions, but is willing to create high-quality reproductions for other institutions interested in exhibitions.