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Special Collections

Frank Howard Collection of Civil War History

Frank Howard was a well known Michigan collector who put together one of the largest Civil War collections in the Midwest, focused particularly on Abraham Lincoln. The collection was purchased by the Wayne State University Libraries in the 1950s and the books were disbursed into the regular collections.

The non-book portion of the collection includes manuscripts, periodicals, postcards, signature books, ephemera, and artifacts.

Notable items include a lock of Lincoln's hair, a bloodied piece of bunting from the theater box where Lincoln was assassinated, and the sister pistol to the gun used to assassinate Lincoln.

Catalog records for the books in this collection can be found here. The other materials from this collection are described in this finding aid.

Lincoln's Assassination - The Pistol

Purported "Sister Pistol" View 1

Side view with Maker's Mark

"Sister Pistol" View 2

Side view with Maker's Mark

"Sister Pistol" View 3

Measured in Millimeters

"Sister Pistol" View 4

Opposite Side Measured in Millimeters

"Sister Pistol" View 5

Top View

"Sister Pistol" View 6

Underside View

"Sister Pistol" View 7

Barrel View

The Lincoln Letters

This collection contains correspondence from and to Abraham Lincoln, including the letter below. This letter is unusual in that Lincoln signed it with his full signature, rather than A. Lincoln.



Some of the letters from this collection have been digitized and are available in the WSU Library System Digital Collections.