Blanche M. G. Linden Gift to the Historical Collections
The Historical Collections Department is pleased to announce a recent gift from the personal research collection of Blanche M. G. Linden, the noted scholar and author of Silent City on a Hill: Landscapes of Memory and Boston’s Mount Auburn Cemetery. These materials add to Ms. Linden’s already substantial donations to the Cemetery’s collections. The gift includes ten volumes dedicated to poems of consolation, many of which are interwoven with horticultural themes, with titles such as The Sacred Flora, A Crown of Thorns, Cupid’s Basket, and Laurel Wreath. The tiny books are beautifully illustrated with delicate engravings and color frontispieces. Ms. Linden also donated an 1840 original edition of A Collection of Plants of Boston and Its Vicinity by Jacob Bigelow. One of the founders of Mount Auburn, Bigelow was the first New England botanist to collect and publish information on the area’s flora.
In addition to the 19th-century books, Ms. Linden donated a cased photograph of an unidentified Civil War soldier. The image is framed in a gutta percha case embossed with the figure of an angel carrying a child. This image of mourning appears in monuments in the Cemetery and is featured in the center panel of the stained glass in Bigelow Chapel. Finally, the gift includes a small, souvenir plaster bust of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “The Cemetery is delighted with this donation,” Meg L. Winslow, Curator of the Historical Collections Department notes, “and we and look forward to sharing these exciting new objects with our researchers.”