The Becker Collection is accessible to anyone interested in studying the process of drawing or the events of the late nineteenth century in the United States.
Undergraduate students in the Civil War Drawings course at Boston College have already made important discoveries about hitherto incompletely documented (“unknown”) drawings in the collection. Beginning with the visual characteristics of and available inscriptions on these drawings, students navigated through widely dispersed archives and other sources, sometimes with the help of archivists throughout the United States, to discover as much information as possible about their drawings. Searching through illustrated newspapers or using comparative stylistic analysis, some students discovered the names of the artists who made their drawings. Combing the records of various archives, other students pinpointed the specific events depicted in their drawings. Many found errors in the information previously assigned to their drawings, and all have added to the knowledge now available about these formerly “unknown” drawings.
Their work followed a pilot study by Undergraduate Research Fellow in July – August 2008, in which she identified seven drawings by Edward S. Hall, a Frank Leslie’s Special Artist heretofore unknown in the collection. Her work and the work of all the students in the Civil War Drawings course is presented in the following research reports and slide presentations.
If you have a discovery of your own to contribute, please feel free to submit it below.