Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Contact: Susan Tams, Director of Editorial Services (304) 696-7153

Blake Collection at Marshall receives Civil War-era items

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – Dr. and Mrs. John O’Brien, from the eastern panhandle of West Virginia, have given a group of items and books to the Rosanna Blake Collection, part of Marshall University’s Special Collection department housed in the Morrow Library.

“These donations are significant and will help maintain the standing of the Blake Collection as one of the outstanding Confederate and southern collections outside of the National Archives,” said Jack Dickinson, curator of the Blake collection.

Dickinson said the most prominent item is an engraved bronze shield by Adalbert J. Volck, a well-known engraver and illustrator during the Civil War. It is engraved “To the Brave Women of the South,” and features vignettes of Civil War home scenes. Volck produced only two other similar shields.

The third important item is a lithographic print of 1865, titled “The Outbreak of the Rebellion in the United States, 1861.” 

In addition to these three items the gift also included 210 volumes, representing the rest of the donors’ complete Civil War library. (The O’Briens had previously donated more than 100 volumes and numerous other historical items.)

For questions or an appointment to visit the Blake Collection, phone 304-696-3097, or the Special Collections Circulation Desk at 304-696-2343, or e-mail the department mailbox at


Photos: (Above) Jack Dickinson is curator of the Rosanna Blake Collection in the special collection department of Marshall University Libraries. (Below) Detail of the engraved shield, which was produced by Adalbert J. Volck, a well-known engraver and illustrator during the Civil War.

For further information, contact:  Office of University Communications
Marshall University | 213 Old Main | Huntington, WV 25755-1090
Fax: (304) 696-3197