- Camp, Walter Mason, 1867-1925 (Creator, Person)
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
7 boxes (3.5 linear ft.)
2 half boxes (0.5 linear ft.)
Walter Camp was born on April 21, 1867 to Treat Bosworth Camp and Hannah A. Brown in Camptown, Pennsylvania. In 1883, he began his railroad service on the Lehigh Valley Railroad as a trackman, which would lead to his forty-two year railroad career. He entered Pennsylvania State College in the fall of 1887, and graduated as a civil engineer in 1891. In 1895 Camp resumed post graduate studies in electrical and steam engineering at the University of Wisconsin. In 1898 Walter married Emeline L.F. Sayles in Blue Island, Illinois. Walter Camp became the engineering editor of the "Railway and Engineering Review" in 1897 and served faithfull and well as a railway editor for the following twenty-eight years.
Walter Camp's interest in documenting the Indian Wars began in 1903, after which his vacations for the following twenty summers were spent in research among the Indians and in talking with people who had survived the Little Bighorn River fight and other battles. He personally visited over forty battlefields and interviewed almost 200 survivors of western battles. Walter Camp died on August 3, 1925 in Kankakee, Illinois having published very little of his Indian wars research, but having collected an amount of original source material during his lifetime.
Other Finding Aids
Robert Ellison died August 16, 1947. In accordance with his wishes, Ellison's widow sent the bulk of his library and papers, including a substantial segment of the Camp papers, to the Lilly Library at the University of Indiana, his alma mater. Mrs. Ellison also willed additional materials to the Lilly Library, which they received at her death, on March 13, 1967. Another segment of the Robert Ellison papers including additional Camp notes found its way into the Denver Public Library. The remaining Ellison papers and library were purchased by Fred Rosenstock, a noted Denver book dealer. He transferred both the books and the manuscripts to his bookstore and his home, where he stored the manuscripts until they were sold to BYU in several installments between 1968 and 1981. The purchase included the bulk of Walter Camp's interview notes and other papers preserved in this collection and some of the papers created by Robert Ellison, which are cataloged separately.
In 1974, the Harold B. Lee Library commissioned Kenneth Hammer of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, an economist and Custer authority, to inventory and organize the Camp and Ellison collections in preparation for a planned publication of the best of the Camp interview notes and related source materials related to Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Hammer arranged the two collections to reflect his chief concern in preparing to edit the book, namely the grouping of materials according to subject to facilitate access. His identifications were extremely helpful and his inventory served as the beginning point for this register. However, subsequent to the publication of the book, Custer in '76, the staff restructured the two collections to reflect primarily the work of Camp and Ellison (i.e., if either man created or collected an item, it was made a part of his archives regardless of its subject content) while ease of access for patrons was retained through the use of an index.
Also a staff member visited the Denver Public Library and the University of Colorado Library and made arrangements to have copies of their Camp and Camp-related manuscripts either sold or loaned to the Harold B. Lee Library. A microfilm of the Denver Library Ellison-Camp Collection is available for use in the Harold B Lee Library as MSS SC 568. The University of Colorado made available photocopies of pertinent correspondence of William Carey Brown (MSS 1474). Finally, Ken Hammer made available his notes, photocopies and transcriptions of Camp interview notes, including those generated while working with the Ellison-Camp Collection in the University of Indiana's Lilly Library (MSS 1473). For information on other related collections, consult the card and online catalogs.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Acquired (copies and related materials); Denver Public Library, University of Colorado Library.
Acquired (photographs); via R.N. Wathen, Jr. and Harold Schindler.
The photographs were separated to the Photo Archives.
Folio printed music for The Sitting Bull March', 1884, by Henry Wienskowitz, was transferred to the Music Division of the Harold B. Lee Library.
Envelopes, if they bore a significant note, were retained. Most envelopes in the collection were not mailed, i.e., they bore no postmarks. Those envelopes carrying insignificant notes, such as a list of the interviews in the envelope (in any hand, Camp's, Brown's, or Ellison's) were not retained.
- Clippings (Books, newspapers, etc.)
- Drafts (Documents)
- Indians of North America -- Wars -- 1862-1865
- Indians of North America -- Wars -- 1866-1895
- Little Bighorn, Battle of the, Mont., 1876
- Politics, Government, and Law
- Research (Documents)
- United States. Army. Cavalry, 7th
- Register of the Walter Mason Camp papers
- E. Dennis Rowley and Neil Broadhurst (manuscript register)
- Description rules
- Language of description
- Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) grant, 2007-2008
- 2017 March 15: Revision to notes; description at file and item levels; Itza Mostert; March 2017.