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Elden E. Billings Collection,

Identifier: Ms-1991-036

Scope and Contents

This collection contains subject files, clippings, memorabilia and artifacts related to the American Civil War. There are seven series, five of which predominately contain Civil War materials. The other two series in the collection also contains files on other subjects of Billings' historical interests, including aspects of military and United States history.


  • 1862 - 1991


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.


25.5 Cubic Feet (22 boxes)


The collection is arranged in seven series: Series I: Civil War Files and Prints; Series II: Other Subject Files; Series III: Lincoln Materials; Series IV: Elden E. Billings - Personel Files; Series V: Publications; Series VI: Primary Documents; and Series VII: Artifacts. Files in each series are arranged alphabetically by folder or item title.

Series I: Civil War Files and Prints contains subject files on various Civil War topics including specific battles, locations, regiments, and historic figures, as well as works of art, maps, and images. Other files include information on railroads, prisons, ethnic or social groups, and branches of the military.

Series II: Other Subject Files contains files on various topics, some tangentially related to the Civil War. Topics include, but are not limited to, figures from US military history, World Wars I and II, the Mexican War, railroads,

Series III: Lincoln Materials contains historical information about aspects of Lincoln's life and presidency. The series also includes cartoons, newsletters, portraits, and memorabilia.

Series IV: Elden E. Billings - Personal Files contains biographical information and photographs, correspondence to and from Billings, book catalogs, and notes relating to speaking events and writings.

Series V: Publications contains newsletters and journals, mostly from the Civil War period or about the Civil War. Other publications relate to Civil War Roundtables, historical societies, and military history.

Series VI: Primary Documents contains two subseries, Subseries I: Scrapbooks and Subseries II: Manuscripts. Subseries I: Scrapbooks includes several related to Civil War regiments or individuals. Subseries II: Manuscripts includes originals and typed copies of diaries, correspondence, and ephemera from the Civil War and Reconstruction periods.

Series VII: Artifacts contains several portraits, daguerrotypes, and photographs of Civil War figures, including Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. This series also contains medals, coins, calling cards, stamps, and other memorabilia. There are two non-Civil War related items: a print of an elephant fight from India, and a notebook that belonged to Ulysses S. Grant III.

Scope and Contents

The Elden E. Billings Papers were donated to Special Collections in 1991 with additional materials added.

Related Archival Materials

A portion of the Civil War books in the Special Collections Rare Book Collection were donated by Elden E. Billings. The department also houses a portrait of Elden E. "Josh" Billings.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Elden E. Billings Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing, arrangement and description of the Elden E. Billings Collection commenced and was completed in August 2008. Earlier processing of the collection had been done in 1992. Additional description was completed in 2010.

A Guide to the Elden E. Billings Collection
Special Collections Staff
2010 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US