Friday, April 25, 2014

George Lincoln Burr (1857-1938) and the White Library at Cornell

I'm a collector of envelopes (called covers by philatelists) that have been sent to or from libraries. I believe that I have the largest collection of these envelopes in the world. My collection numbers in the thousands. I'm always on the lookout for envelopes that have a special story so I was excited to acquire the envelope shown above. It was mailed to Professor George L. Burr at the President White Library at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY on April 25, 1911. Andrew Dickson White was the co-founder and first president of Cornell University. White, with the assistance of Burr, developed a remarkable personal historical library consisting of more than 30,000 volumes which he donated to the Cornell University Library. Burr served as the librarian/curator of the White collection and Professor of History at Cornell. He was an authority on the witchcraft trials and was editor of Narratives of the Witchcraft Cases, 1648-1706. He was President of the American Historical Association in 1916. The envelope is interesting in that it was a souvenir for the 1901 Pan American Exposition in Buffalo, NY but was mailed from Buffalo in 1911. It is marked "Personal". I'm putting together a philatelic exhibit titled "Libraries in 20th Century America" and this envelope will make a nice addition to the exhibit.

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