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Conservation of the Henry Clinton papers (1736-1850), Volume 85

We are seeking contributors to help offset the costs of unhinging and re-boxing approximately 11,600 manuscripts in 232 volumes of the Henry Clinton Papers. A donation of $175 will support the unhinging and re-housing of volume 85 of the Clinton Papers.
Conservation, Manuscripts
William Clements Library Adopt a Piece of History Bookplate

Conservation of the Henry Clinton papers (1736-1850), Volume 85

Adopted by

James L. Kochan


Brian L. Dunnigan

Special Notes About this Grouping

The Clinton Papers are an incredible resource to study military thinking in action. Volume 85 includes two versions of a document relating to the capture of enslaved people and provisions from plantations. Reading which phrases were crossed out and what language was ultimately used, scholars get a close look at how top military figures were making decisions on the ground. In the same volume, a group of war widows petition the British for support, calling our attention to how the collection tells many stories at once—from leaders developing their strategies to everyday people who felt the impact of the war.

The Henry Clinton Papers need your help. Sir Henry Clinton served under Thomas Gage and William Howe between 1775 and 1778, and was commander-in-chief of the British forces in North America from 1778 to 1782. His extensive papers offer an unparalleled view of the day-to-day operations of the British Empire in North America during the height of the Revolutionary War.

The Henry Clinton Papers are currently housed in custom boxes and folders made for the collection in the mid 20th century. Each individual manuscript is tipped onto larger, acidic heavy stock paper and enclosed in its own acidic folder. In order to digitize the collection and assure the long-term safety of the Henry Clinton Papers, the Clements Library will be undertaking a massive re-housing project.

From the Conservator, Julie Fremuth:

My work will be to de-hinge the Clinton manuscripts and prepare the collection for digitization. With careful conservation techniques, I will remove each and every manuscript from the bound volume into which it is hinged. Then, each manuscript will be put into a labelled folder and box. At this time I will not be removing the hinging tape from each manuscript or repairing tears (those are wet treatments each requiring several days to repair and dry properly), as that would slow down the process towards digitization.

Learn more about the Clinton Papers in our online exhibit Spy Letters of the American Revolution.
Damage from the acidic storage environment