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Edward A. Barnes papers

Identifier: Midwest-MS-BarnesE

Scope and Content of the Collection

Collection contains manuscripts, clippings, and printed versions of Edward A. Barnes’s poems and songs. Additionally, collection includes diaries pertaining to the weather, visitors, correspondence, family events, and religious beliefs.


  • Creation: 1865-1893



Materials are in English.


The Edward A. Barnes papers are open for research in the Special Collections Reading Room; 1 box at a time (Priority III).

Ownership and Literary Rights

The Edward A. Barnes papers are the physical property of the Newberry Library. Copyright may belong to the authors or their legal heirs or assigns. For permission to publish or reproduce any materials from this collection, contact the Roger and Julie Baskes Department of Special Collections at

Biography of Edward A. Barnes

Chicago writer of hymns, religious and romantic poetry, and temperance songs.

Edward Albert Barnes was born January 24, 1842. Little is known about his personal history beyond his own accounts of his songwriting process, his relationship with two younger sisters, Lillie and Della, and his religious beliefs. Barnes was a life-long Chicagoan and devoted his time to the Christian church and to the American temperance movement. His career as a published writer began in 1865 and ended in 1893. Songs such as “Are You Coming to the Light?” and “Tent and Mansion” were distributed widely in hymnals and church programs, while his temperance songs were included in music books that circulated in local and national church communities.

By his own account, Barnes lived a quiet life, focusing on family, writing, and reading the Bible. The date of his death is unknown.


0.8 Linear Feet (2 boxes)


Diaries, poetry, music and program and newspaper clippings written by Edward A. Barnes, a Chicago-based religious and temperance songwriter. The diaries pertain to Barnes’s songwriting career, his religious beliefs, and his relationship with his sisters, Lillie and Della.


Materials arranged alphabetically.

Collection Stack Location

1 4 5



Processed by

Emma Martin, 2011.


This inventory was created with the generous support of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this inventory do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Inventory of the Edward A. Barnes papers, 1865-1893
Finding aid prepared by Emma Martin
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the The Newberry Library - Modern Manuscripts and Archives Repository

60 West Walton Street
Chicago Illinois 60610 United States