LETTERS, DIARIES, VIEW BOOKS, PHOTOGRAPH ALBUMS, AND OTHER PRIMARY SOURCES ON THE ANGLO-BOER WAR
The library has received and is in the process of accessioning, cataloguing, and scanning a large body of materials documenting the South African War (1899-1902), commonly referred to as the Anglo-Boer War.
In an earlier blog, I highlighted some of the published books and an unpublished photograph album that documented the experiences of the doctors, nurses, and other medical staff who treated the wounded combatants. More recently, we have begun to catalog and scan some of the unique and historically valuable letters, journals, and diaries penned by some of the actual participants in that conflict.
These accounts—scribbled down in blank journals, notebooks, or on loose leaves of lined paper during the course of the events—provide the reader with an intimate window into the experiences of the combatants–the lower rank of officers, sergeants, and infantrymen. From these most intimate letters sent home to family members, or diaries intended to record the day-to-day struggles and campaigns in which they took part, we get a very different—very personal—vision of the war than those published in the memoirs of important generals or the “big picture” histories published by contemporary historians.
Thanks to the generosity of Frederic A. Sharf and his wife Jean, the students and faculty at Florida International University, other local colleges and institutions, and interested researchers from around the globe will soon have access to an abundance of literary and visual primary source materials for the Boer War, as we continue to process and digitize the collection and make it available via our web catalog: http://library.wolfsonian.org