Henry C. Gilbert papers  1826-1864
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Collection Scope and Content Note

This collection (approximately 0.25 linear feet) is made up of postcards, a photograph album, and other items related to Edwina L. Klee, a nurse who volunteered with the Red Cross in Russia during the early years of World War I. Loose photographs (5 items) include a portrait of Tsar Nicholas II in a military uniform, a formal portrait of Klee in her nurse's uniform, and pictures of groups of nurses. One of the group photographs is dated April 28, 1923. A printed map highlights Klee's route from Finland to Petrograd, Kiev, and Odessa, as well as her route through Russia toward Beijing. The collection includes two of Klee's passports: a United States passport signed by William Jennings Bryan (August 1914) and a Russian passport issued around 1915.

The 54-page photograph album contains around 350 pictures, most of which have captions. Many of the images are scenes from Edwina Klee's travels abroad, including views of buildings, monuments, and cityscapes in Falmouth and London, England; Dundee, Scotland; Stockholm and Gothenburg, Sweden; Rauma, Finland; Petrograd (now Saint Petersburg), Russia; and Kiev, Russia (now Ukraine). Some of the first photographs show the SS Red Cross and other ships along the New York City coastline. Photographs from Klee's time in Russia often show nurses, doctors, patients, operating rooms, patient quarters, and hospital grounds; some soldiers' wounds are clearly visible, including shrapnel wounds and cases of severe frostbite. Other images depict scenes of daily Russian peasant life, Austrian prisoners of war, and a religious procession honoring the feast of Saint Vladimir. A few items document Klee's travels in China. The album also contains an engraved view of a cathedral's exterior and interior, accompanied by a description of Ely Cathedral, and pictures of the family of Tsar Nicholas II.

The collection includes 61 photographic and picture postcards showing prominent buildings and monuments in England, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and Japan, as well as everyday Russian scenes; one includes a brief history of the Kamakura Daibutsu. Edwina Klee addressed some of the postcards to her mother, sister, and other recipients in Chicago and elsewhere, and a small number are cards she received from European acquaintances. Klee's notes usually mention her past and future travel destinations and her correspondence with those at home. The final items are a souvenir postcard book featuring Russian landmarks and a souvenir book of photographs from Kiev.

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