In 1950 Chattanooga resident and historian Anne Bachman Hyde (1868-1959) gave the university her personal library, which totaled over 1200 books. Included in this collection was a strong collection of southern-based literature and history, as well as local history. The daughter of long-time First Presbyterian Church pastor Jonathan Waverly Bachman, Mrs. Hyde served a stint as Historian-General of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Along with her large book collection came her personal papers, and a recent re-evaluation of this book and personal papers collection revealed treasures previously overlooked.
“I had processed the collection in 2002, shortly after I came to UTC,” said Special Collections librarian Steve Cox, “but I wasn’t as familiar with local and Tennessee history as I am now. In the past few years I started identifying certain items in the collection that convinced me I needed to re-evaluate it.” The process took several months and during that time Cox found several books and items of note. Included is a rare and early Tennessee pamphlet, A Moral and Political Discourse on War, printed in 1814 in Rogersville, Tennessee. Cox also went on to do the first inventory of the 1200+ books Mrs. Hyde had donated to the university, and found that surprisingly enough, most were still in the library’s collections, either in the circulating collection, or in the Special Collections. “The reason I wanted to do an inventory,” Cox went on, “is that I discovered that Mrs. Hyde often placed things in her books, including letters from authors, newspaper book reviews, and in one she even pasted in rare Confederate currency, postage stamps, and Civil War-era photographs of Confederate officers. I was able to recover a lot of these before they fell out and were lost.”
The Anne Bachman Hyde Collection holds two letters from Theodore Roosevelt, written after he was president, a letter from British novelist Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; several dozen rare carte de visite photographs of Civil War Confederate officers; letters and documents of Chattanooga lawyer Charles McGuffey (1842-1916), including letters and documents pertaining to Mr. McGuffey’s grandfather, the noted Cincinnati physician Daniel Drake (1785-1852); research on the Brainerd Mission and the Cherokee Indians; rare local newspapers such as the Chattanooga Daily Rebel and the Chattanooga Daily News; rare books such as the 1725 Dunciad Variorum, published in London by Alexander Pope (using a pseudonym); a first edition of Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus: His Songs and His Sayings; and Memoirs of the War in the Southern Department of the United States, by Henry Lee, which was Robert E. Lee’s personal copy of this book authored by his father, and bears his signature inside. There are also many pamphlets and publications on historical matters, especially the Civil War.
The collection is available for research in the Special Collections of Lupton Library. Call 425-2186 for more information.