The Watson Papers in the Library of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill constitute the largest and most valuable source of biographical materials. These papers are merely deposited with the Library, and, though catalogued, they are as yet available only by permission of the family. Ranging from childhood diaries of the late 'sixties to letters written shortly before Watson's death, the collection includes personal business records, check stubs, lawyer's case books, tenant rolls, memorandum- and note-books, personal journals, manuscripts of speeches, business and personal letters to and from Watson, and some twenty scrapbooks of various sizes, as well as miscellaneous pamphlets, handbills, and campaign literature. The scrapbooks contain material only to 1897, but are valuable for the study of the background, origins, and history of Populism up to that date. Few of the clippings, unfortunately, are dated. There are several serious deficiencies in the collection. Watson did not keep copies of his own letters until the last three years of his life. There are wide gaps in the correspondence addressed to him, notably in that of the 'nineties, when little except letters of a business nature was preserved, and in that of the period from 1910 to 1920. The correspondence from 1900 to 1910 and from 1920 through September, 1922, is especially full and valuable.
Miss Georgia D. Watson, Thomson, Georgia, possesses a collection of the Watson family letters, including letters from Thomas E. Watson to his wife, and also letters to him from Roosevelt, Debs, and others. A diary that Watson kept in 1878 is an important item in this collection. Mr. Walter J. Brown, of Washington, D. C., grandson-in-law of Thomas E. Watson, has in his possession a number of family letters, the letters of Watson to his granddaughters being the most valuable of the collection. Judge Uly O. Thompson, of Miami, Florida, purchased the bulk of Watson's private library, some seven thousand items, which the author has &88