Thomas Memorial Collection (1776-2010), 1776-2010
- This collection consists of journals, magazines, newspapers, and correspondence that mention Abraham Lincoln. The collection also contains Civil War related items such as photographs, event programs, postcards, posters and manuscripts.
- 20 Linear Feet and 26 boxes, 7 oversized boxes, 20 linear feet
- English .
- Preferred citation:
- Item description, McKee Library: Thomas Memorial Collection, Series #, box #, and folder #, McKee Library Special Collections at Southern Adventist University, Collegedale
- Biographical / Historical:
The Thomas Memorial Collection exists today as a result of three major contributors. Dr. Vernon L. Thomas, the namesake of the collection, along with Dr. Russell C. Slater and John W. Fling, Jr., each contributed books, photos, periodicals, and other memorabilia concerning Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. The original collector of the Civil War material was Dr. Russell Slater of La Salle, Illinois. John W. Fling, Jr., a lawyer of Wyoming, Illinois, spent a lifetime gathering the Abraham Lincoln material. Dr. Thomas acquired both of these collections and, in 1973, donated it in its entirety to McKee Library.
Dr. Thomas was born in Oklahoma on April 9, 1918. He attended Southwestern Junior College (now Southwestern Adventist University) in Keene, Texas, and Union College in Lincoln, Nebraska. He received his medical degree from Loma Linda University School of Medicine in Loma Linda, California. Dr. Thomas then served at a mission hospital in Nicaragua. Upon returning to the United States, he opened a clinic in Grandview, Texas. A serious bibliophile, Dr. Thomas had collected books since 1951, accumulating a personal library of over 30,000 volumes, in addition to the Lincoln and Civil War material. Dr. Thomas passed away on November 24, 2011.