852 RARE: The Monthly Special – A favorite digital collection

852 RARE: The Monthly Special – A favorite digital collection

Over the years, Historical & Special Collections has taken on many digitization projects – from early studies of Roman law, to our collection of legal portraits, to the papers of some of the Law School’s distinguished alumni.  One of my personal favorites is the Charles Claflin Davis Papers.  Davis attended both Harvard College and the Law School, graduating in 1910.  In the 1920s he became involved with the American Red Cross as Director of the Southwestern Base located in Constantinople.   There he worked with Russian refugee camps and spent time in the schools and orphanages.  His collection of papers, photographs and scrapbooks represents his time with the Red Cross in Constantinople and the gratitude expressed to him by the children in the camps.

A highlight of the collection is one scrapbook made by the Russian Towns Union Children’s Home No. 1.  The children created a beautiful scrapbook for Davis to thank him for his work.  Below is one of the pages:

A page from a scrapbook presented to Charles Claflin Davis by children in a Russian refugee camp. From The Charles Claflin Davis Papers, 1917-1923. Scrapbooks, box 6. Sequence number 711.

There are also some haunting photos of the refugee camps, such as this one that depicts a view of a Russian refugee camp showing men lying on the ground and lines of laundry hanging overhead. The camp sits outside the Dolma Bagtche palace in Constantinople, Turkey.

From the Charles Claflin Davis Papers, 1917-1923. Box 1. olvwork438394.

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