Making Room for Civil War History: USM Adds 3,000-piece Collection

Bobby D. Lawrence Civil War Collection - University of Saint Mary

Bobby D. Lawrence Civil War Collection - University of Saint Mary

The University of Saint Mary De Paul Library will add a third collection, the Bobby D. Lawrence Civil War Collection, to its esteemed and historic special collections. In July, USM’s Danielle Dion, library director; Lindsay Schettler, special collections and content management librarian; and Ashley Creek, access and learning services librarian, spearheaded the on-site acquisition of the 3,000-piece collection— while both Dr. Kyle Anthony, assistant professor in history, and Dr. Karenbeth Zacharias, assistant professor in history, assisted with questions, assessment, and packing at the home of the late Mr. Lawrence in Leavenworth, Kan.

The collection includes local papers, like the “Leavenworth Daily Conservative,” books on women’s work in the Civil War dating back to 1867, confederate currency, and bonds.

Bobby D. Lawrence Civil War Collection - University of Saint MaryLawrence, a former Marine and a Civil War history buff, called Leavenworth home until his passing in October 2013. He served with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for 25 years, was a charter member of the Kickapoo Township Volunteer Fire Department, and served with the Kansas Peace Officers’ Association, the National Rifle Association, and St. Joseph Men’s Society. He was active in St. Joseph Catholic Parish and heavily involved in the lives of his children and grandchildren—including Nicholas (Nick) Brungardt, a 2015 USM graduate.

He was survived by his wife of 55 years, Jeannie Harnish, along with his three children, Michele Brungardt of Lansing; Michael Lawrence of Fallbrook, Calif.; and Patty Scharinger of Leavenworth.

Bobby D. Lawrence Civil War Collection - University of Saint Mary
After seeing publicity for USM’s well-regarded annual Lincoln Event and having a Saint Mary alum in her home, Michele Brungardt initiated contact with De Paul Library—hoping to pass on her father’s legacy and love for Civil War history.

Lawrence’s collection records reference more than 3,000 pieces, along with detailing all the specifics he knew on each one. Schettler will use Lawrence’s hand-written notes to sort, digitize, and properly archive each piece from this robust collection, while a third-party appraiser will also assess the collection’s value.

Visit to follow USM’s archival journey.

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