PINKERTON’S CEDES ARCHIVES TO LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.
In late spring 2000, movers appeared at Pinkerton’s U.S. Security Corporate headquarters to begin packing up the company’s archives, covering 1850-1938, for transport to its new home at the Library of Congress. The value of the archive is estimated by the Library as about $1 million, and includes 195 binders on criminal investigations, a large collection of photographs, biographical information on founder Allan Pinkerton and his sons, William and Robert, promotional materials and canvassing papers, among other items.
Highlights of the archive, which was added to the Library’s Manuscript Division (which already held nine volumes of the company’s Civil War correspondence), include: an 1862 photo of Allan Pinkerton with President Abraham Lincoln and General John McClernand after the Battle of Antietam; and a 1901 studio photograph of Harry Longbaugh, better known as the “Sundance Kid,” and his girlfriend Etta Place. Pinkerton later cropped the images of Place and Longbaugh and reproduced them separately in “wanted” posters. Pinkerton’s President Don Walker says, “We are honored that the Library of Congress considers our archives to be of historical significance. We have always believed that Allan Pinkerton began what became a great legacy to this country when he founded the Agency in 1850.”
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