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Richard Current Papers

Identifier: MSS 0053

Scope and Contents

This collection documents the career, writings, and activities of Richard Nelson Current. It consists of professional and personal correspondence, original handwritten and typescript manuscripts of his writings, lectures and book reviews, as well as clippings, ephemera, photographs, and documents regarding his finances, residence, travels, and affiliations with various organizations and publishers.


  • 1930 - 2003


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information. Please see our Sensitive Materials Statement.

Biographical or Historical Information

Richard Nelson Current is a Lincoln scholar, author and American Civil War historian. During the course of his career, Current has authored or co-authored over 15 books and has written dozens of articles published in journals, encyclopedias, and dictionaries, and has written over 300 book reviews. Among his various faculty positions, Richard Current has served as head of the Department of History and Political Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1955-1960, was a University Distinguished Professor of History at UNCG from 1966 to 1983, and throughout his career has provided numerous guest lectures in cities across the globe.

Current was born to Park Curry Current and Anna (Christiansen) Current in Colorado Springs, Colorado on October 5, 1912. On December 20, 1937, he married Rose M. Bonar and together they had two children. Their daughter, Annabelle was born in 1943 and their son, Dana, was born in 1946.

Current received his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1934, holds a M.A. from Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, a Ph. D. from the University of Wisconsin, and an honorary M.A. degree from Oxford University. Standing among his many awards and achievements, Richard Current was honored with the Oliver Max Gardner Award in 1960 for outstanding academic and public service.

In addition to his scholarly occupations, Richard Current was highly involved with several noteworthy organizations. These include, but are not limited to, The Abraham Lincoln Association, the Civil War Round Table, the Conference on European Problems, the Historical Society of North Carolina, the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, and the Southern Historical Association.

Current passed away in 2012.


29.80 Linear Feet (72 boxes)

Language of Materials



Richard Nelson Current is a widely recognized Lincoln expert and American Civil War scholar who was a University Distinguished Professor of History at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1966 to 1983 and also served as the Head of the Department of History and Political Science of UNCG from 1955-1960.

The Richard Current Papers date from 1930 to 2003 and consist largely of his correspondence as well as manuscripts of his writings. The collection includes materials pertaining to his career as an author, professor, and historian.

Arrangement Note

Series 1: Correspondence Subseries 1.1: Professional Correspondence Subseries 1.2: Personal Correspondence Subseries 1.3: Miscellaneous Correspondence Series 2: Writings Subseries 2.1: General Writings Subseries 2.2: Scholastic Writings Subseries 2.3: Miscellaneous Writings Subseries 2.4: Book Reviews Subseries 2.5: Speeches and Presentations Subseries 2.6: Reviews of Current's Writings Series 3: Schools and Organizations Series 4: Subject Files

Method of Acquisition

Gift of Richard Current in February, 2002.

Offensive Language Statement

The UNC Greensboro University Libraries collects, preserves, and makes accessible unique and historical materials for learning and research. The nature of historical materials is such that some material may represent positions, norms, and values that are offensive and objectionable. These materials represent the opinions and actions of their creators. By providing access to these records in our reading room and through our digital collections, we recognize that archives and rare books can play a vital role in holding those creators accountable and in helping us learn from the past.

Our finding aids and other collection descriptions may occasionally re-use language provided by creators or former holders of the materials, but we strive to place outdated or offensive terminology in context. That said, we recognize that we may not always make the right decision and welcome feedback from all sources so we can learn and adjust our practices. Please contact us at if you encounter problematic language in our finding aids or other collection description. We will review the language and, as appropriate, update it in a way that balances preservation of the original context with our ongoing commitment to describing materials with respectful and inclusive language.

Processing Information

Processed by Andrea Cole, April, 2010. Encoded by Jennifer Motszko and Andrea Cole, April, 2010.

Richard Current Papers
Andrea Cole
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Revision Statements

  • April 20, 2021: This finding aid underwent changes in Spring 2021 after a reparative archives review. The following link leads to the legacy version of this finding aid:

Repository Details

Part of the Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives Repository

P.O. Box 26170
320 College Ave.
Greensboro NC 27402-6170 US