The Frederick Gilbert Bourne collection is made up of 73 letters, 11 telegrams, 9 photographs, 1 photograph album, 17 invitations and pieces of ephemera, and 22 printed items related to Bourne and to his son-in-law, Ralph Strassburger.
The Correspondence series (84 items) comprises the bulk of the collection, and is arranged by author and recipient. Bourne composed 45 letters to his daughter May and her husband, Ralph Beaver Strassburger, offering financial advice and sharing news of his social and leisure activities near his Long Island home and during his vacations on Jekyll Island, Georgia. These vacations often included hunting trips and yachting excursions. Several letters composed in 1912 and 1913 reflect Strassburger's time as a diplomat in Eastern Europe, with content respecting his father-in-law's efforts to secure him a reassignment following a local cholera outbreak. Bourne commented on the 1912 presidential election and controversial office appointments made by the outgoing Taft administration.
Incoming correspondence to Frederick Gilbert Bourne documents the social lives of his wealthy friends and family members in the early 20th century. Additional correspondence includes personal letters addressed to Ralph and May Strassburger and to Mrs. Emma Bourne from various acquaintances. The telegrams (11) contain messages between members of the Bourne family, most related to travel arrangements.
The Photographs series includes 9 individual photographs and one photograph album. Nine silver gelatin prints and real photo postcards depict Frederick Gilbert Bourne; "The Towers" on Dark Island, New York; and Indian Neck Hall, Bourne's estate in Oakdale, Long Island, New York (including 1 panoramic photo). The photo album, ca. 1904-1914, contains over 100 images of yachts and automobiles, as well as scenes from Jekyll Island, Georgia, and the leisure activities of wealthy Americans (including sailing races).
The Printed Items and Ephemera series includes 6 visiting/calling cards, a menu, 10 invitations, 7 picture postcards, 13 newspaper and magazine clippings, a magazine, and a book. The calling cards and invitations pertain to the activities of Frederick and Emma Bourne; the postcards depict the Bourne's estates and other buildings; and the clippings, magazine, and book concern Frederick Bourne (including yachting articles from The Rider and Driver and The Illustrated Sporting News). One of the calling cards is personally addressed to Bourne by J. Pierpont Morgan. The book is Henry H. Klein's Dynastic America and Those Who Own It (1921). The series also contains a reproduction of a document commending Bourne's lengthy service with the Singer Manufacturing Company (March 7, 1906) and a composite image of Frederick Bourne working in various occupations.
The Media series is comprised of 6 compact discs containing digital images of the Frederick G. Bourne family, the Jekyll Island Club, and Airy Hall Plantation, the South Carolina plantation owned by Robert George Elbert, another of Bourne's sons-in-law. The series also includes a VHS tape with filmed views of Bourne's estates and of Ralph Strassburger's home, transferred from a 28 millimeter reel from 1918.