The Manuscript, Archives and Rare Book Library is a place of discovery. All are welcome to visit and explore our unique holdings, whether as a researcher or an observer. The breadth and depth of our collections are vast, and it is nearly impossible to investigate every nook and cranny. We invite you this year, through our blog, to tour some of those places you didn’t know existed, and get acquainted with collections you might not have previously explored. Check back in with us weekly over the course of 2013 as we offer you a delightful look into some of the favorite, but perhaps lesser-known, corners of our collections. These pieces are visually interesting, come attached with fascinating stories, and are often 3D objects you might not have realized are part of what makes up The Extraordinary World of MARBL.
By the end of the U. S. Civil War, supplies were scarce in the South. Rumors of Confederate gold aside, the Confederacy was bankrupt, and soldiers were left to their own devices to gather whatever they could for the war effort. According to a note supplied with these socks, they were given to General Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) by his wife, Mary Anna Custis Lee (1808-1873). They were then donated to the war effort through a gift to the sons of “G. Preston” by Mrs. Lee. If you’d like to visit these socks in MARBL, you’ll find them in a collection called Confederate Miscellany, along with some other notable Civil War treasures.