1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 World's Columbian Exposition Records

 Records, 1891-1894

 Size: 1 linear foot

 Catalog number: MSS 820

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, December 2001

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The World's Columbian Exposition was held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the four hundredth anniversary of the discovery of America by Columbus. It attracted over twenty million visitors during the six months it was open. Planning began in 1890, dedication ceremonies were held in October of 1892, and the fair was open to the public from May to October of 1893.

            Each state had its own exhibits. The Board of World's Fair Managers of Rhode Island was formed in July of 1891. E. Benjamin Andrews served as president, and Charlotte F. Dailey (1842-1914) was secretary and treasurer. Over eight thousand Rhode Islanders ultimately visited the state's exhibit at the fair. The board was disbanded in 1894.

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Scope and content:

            This collection includes three guest registers used by Rhode Island visitors to the fair's Rhode Island building. The registers give name, home town, and Chicago hotel address, and are arranged semi-alphabetically. The first two registers were apparently used simultaneously, while the last one began in October when the other two were filled. The other records were all kept by Charlotte F. Dailey as secretary and treasurer of the Rhode Island board from 1891 to 1894. They include the board's minute book, reports, paid bills, various invitations, and a folder of correspondence.

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            The three guest registers were donated by John C. Wyman on behalf of the Rhode Island Board of World's Fair Commissioners in 1894. The remaining papers were very likely donated by Charlotte F. Dailey or her sister Maude (Dailey) Chace (1854-1926) between 1894 and 1926. Both were regular donors to the R.I.H.S., although record of a gift matching this description has not been found. Three accessions have been found for Columbian Exposition documents in 1891 and 1892, but this would not explain the many 1893 and 1894 documents in this collection.

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Processing note:

            This collection was processed in 2001. A small quantity of printed material was transferred to the Printed Collection at this time, including copies of the Rhode Island World's Fair Bulletin.

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Volume 1. Guest register, Rhode Island Building, May to October 1893

Volume 2. Guest register, Rhode Island Building, May to October 1893

Volume 3. Guest register, Rhode Island Building, October 1893

Folder 1. Clippings, 1892

Folder 2. Correspondence, 1893-1894 and undated

Folder 3. Invitations, commissions, etc. of Charlotte F. Dailey, 1892-1893

Folder 4. Minute book, 1891-1894

Folder 5. "Rhode Island Report," undated

Folder 6. Treasurer's receipts, 1893-1894

Folder 7. "Charter Members, G.W.M.A. Rhode Island," 1898

Found in World's Fair minute book. Addressed to Maude Chace. Perhaps stands for George Washington Monument Association.

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Board of World's Fair Managers for Rhode Island

Chicago. World's Columbian Exposition, 1893.

Columbian Exposition

Dailey, Charlotte F., 1842-1914

Exhibitions - Illinois - Chicago

George Washington Monument Association

Rhode Island Board of World's Fair Managers

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