HomeBrowseAdvanced SearchAboutHelpContact

Casey family papers

Scope & content

The Casey family papers (MS008) reflect the life and work of the Casey family of Saunderstown, Rhode Island, and life at the Casey farm. The papers cover topics such as family history, trade, and agricultural activities. Additional material includes Thomas Lincoln Casey's (1831-1896) professional papers relating to his work on the Washington Monument; the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress; the State, War, and Naval Building; and other structures in the District of Columbia. The collection is arranged in forty-one series.

Background: In 1940, Historic New England acquired the Casey Farm in Saunderstown, Rhode Island, as a bequest from Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940). The papers within the house at the time of acquisition formed the bases of the collection: Casey family papers (now MS008). Until 1955, the papers remained on site at the Casey Farm (Saunderstown, Rhode Island). In 1955, following the death of Mrs. Edward Pearce Casey, the family papers were transferred to the Library and Archives.

Processing of the Casey family papers (now MS008) began in the 1970s and has continued to the present, in a variety of stages and formats. Myron Stachiw, former member of the Historic New England staff, inventoried the papers of Thomas Casey (1706-1797), Silas Casey (1735-1814), and Wanton Casey (1760-1842). Susan D. Abele, a student at the Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science, updated the arrangements of the papers of General Silas Casey (1807-1882), Abby (Pearce) Casey (1813-1862), and Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831-1896) between 1994 and 1995.

2013-2014 Update: In 2013-2014, through a National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13: “Family Manuscript Collections: Expanding Online Access to New England Heritage Project”), twenty-six Historic New England manuscript collections of family papers were re-evaluated and processed/reprocessed to meet current archival standards and “best practices;” corresponding finding aids were created/updated to be DACS-compliant and converted into electronic Microsoft Word document form; and the finding aids were made accessible/searchable online through the use of the Minisis M2A archival database of the Minisis Collections Management System. The Casey family papers (MS008) were part of the grant project.

Prior to the 2013-2014 collection updating, the Casey family papers (now MS008) were found housed primarily in legal-size, acid-free, file boxes; most boxes were in stable condition and labeled. The folders were numbered according to a continuous numbering system (i.e., Folder 1, Folder 2, Folder 70, Folder 100, Folder 2012, etc.), rather than by box. The collection was comprised of one hundred and thirty-one file boxes, one folio box, two oversize boxes, and loose material.

During the 2013-2014 collection updating, the physical collection was maintained and unaltered (no reprocessing or preservation efforts were applied to the collection). The collection was also maintained within its original file boxes and folders and the folder and box numbers were left unaltered. (The contents within the first seven file boxes were rehoused in two acid-free cartons and some of the loose materials found outside of the collection were housed in an acid-free file box or acid-free oversize boxes/folders, as applicable). Loose and oversize materials (found outside of the processed file boxes) were reincorporated into the collection. The original arrangement scheme of chronological order by generation was mostly maintained; due to technical difficulties, a few of the series were moved out of order (all original information contained within the moved series was maintained). Most subseries headings and folder titles were maintained (updates to full and proper names, nicknames, life dates, etc., were applied, as applicable, throughout the 2013-2014 finding aid). The folder arrangement within series and subseries were altered, as applicable, to reflect either a chronological or alphabetical order. Historical and biographical information was updated. Unprocessed material and missing items were noted and reflected in the 2013-2014 finding aid. The collection was barcoded and stored accordingly. Related collections held by Historic New England and other repositories were researched and noted. A DACS-compliant, electronic 2010-2013 Microsoft Word document finding aid was created (with corresponding paper finding aid) and entered into the collection record in the Minisis M2A online database.