Professional papers of Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831-1896): Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

Collection Type

  • Manuscripts


1888-1896, undated

Location Note

Folders 47.1-48.13, x.x-x.x



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  • Casey family papers
  • Professional papers of Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831-1896): Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
    (current record)

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Series XL, Professional papers of Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831-1896): Library of Congress, Washington, D.C., 1888-1896, undated (#47.1-48.13), contains progress reports; financial records (includes estimates; proposals; expenditures; documents regarding materials and services; and related); a commission from the U.S. Treasury Department for the Library of Congress to oversee expenditures; employment records; Congressional recommendations for hiring (includes names of persons hired, turned down, and/ or dropped/ retained for service); a typescript of the "Law Relating to the Building of the Library of Congress;" lists of sculptures and other artisans; blueprints and sketches; photographs and photograph albums; clippings; and obituaries for Casey. The papers comprising this series were previously separated out from the larger collection of the Thomas Lincoln Casey's papers (now Series XXII), prior to the 2013-2014 grant project. The creation of an "artificial" project series was intended to better facilitate the needs of researchers (Please note that not all papers relating to the Monument project may have been incorporated into Series XL.) See Series XXXII, Series XXXVIII, and Series XXXIX for related material. The series is arranged alphabetically by record type, then by topic and/or chronologically.

The progress reports are comprised of letters to Casey from superintendent engineer Bernard R. Green, superintendent engineer. The 1889 reports include an annulled contract for furnishing broken stone. The 1890 reports includes a letter from Green referring to the laying of the cornerstone with little fanfare and noting that architect Pelz was absent. The 1891 August reports comment on the deteriorating physical and mental health of Pelz; the arrival of large quantities of material; plans for the roof ventilation; stone from Hallowell, Maine; and Pelz's plans for arrangement of the dentils in the window pediments. The 1891 September reports comment on Pelz's return to the project and Pelz's improved health. The 1892 reports discuss progress on octagon bookstacks, the "Marble Question," and a dispute between two men named Batterson, father and son; the two letters regarding the Batterson matter are from
Green or Green's deputy, E. Sutherland. The 1893 reports discuss gilding the dome and the esthetic effects of the bright versus painted surfaces; granite capitals; the use of foreign rather than domestic marble in the Congressional Library; and Green's visits with Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940) regarding hall designs. The 1883 reports discuss work progress; the arrival of Bissell's bronze statue of Kent from [? Burran] Brothers in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; pending meetings with Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940) in New York City, New York; an on-site accident involving a boy falling through the skylight scaffold; and other related work such as flooring, tiling, woodwork, mosaics, the main stairway, statues and ornaments, etc.; the reports are sent by both Green or Sutherland.

The lists of sculptors and other artisans are undated and may have been compiled after 1895. The lists are typescript manuscripts with annotations, which provide the location of each piece of work, date of offer, subject matter, date of acceptance, date of order, amount paid, and date of acceptance of sketches with remarks. Also included with the lists are minutes of a meeting with Casey, St. Gaudens, J.Q. Ward, and O.L. Warner; the meeting was held on January 26, 1894. The annotated blueprints are of archways, ornaments, and the main entrance porch. The sketches include an unsigned "Clock for 2nd Tier Alcove, Reading Room," and plans for window openings, the main entrance doors, curbs, and a roadway.

Photographic material includes a grouping of ten mounted photographs: Reading Room, Stairway, Grand Stair Hall, History Mantel, Bronze Door, and the Pavilion of the Arts and Sciences. Most of the photographs are inscribed on the left: Smithmeyer and Pelz, Architects and on the right: Edw. Pearce Casey, Architect. Some of the photographs also have numbers applied to the mat with an adhesive. A photograph album containing approximately fifty cyanotype views, plus some sepia or albumen prints (bound with clippings regarding the building and appearance of the Library of Congress building) are also included in the series. The album depicts the sculptural and painted ornamentation of the Library of Congress Building as originally planned and/or altered in 1894 and 1895; most are annotated in red. Note: In March of 1991, John Hackett from the office of the Architect of the Capitol found the signature of Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940) throughout the album. Based on Hackett's extensive knowledge regarding the construction of the Library of Congress, Hackett believes that the album belongs to Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940) and not to Thomas Lincoln Casey (1831-1896). The appended clippings, regarding the Library of Congress Building, may indicate that Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940) was hired to carry out the interior design of the Building following Edward's graduation from the Ecole des Beaux Arts in 1892 and in response to architect Pelz's apparent "mental breakdown." See #47.4 (Progress reports: August-September, 1892) for related material. Note: See #122.1-122.2 for related material [scrapbooks of Edward Pearce Casey (1864-1940)].


Descriptive Terms

professional papers

Physical Description

Professional papers

Collection Code


Collection Name

Casey family papers

Reference Code


Record Details

Material Type

professional papers

Description Level


Location Note

Folders 47.1-48.13, x.x-x.x