Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Flayderman, Norm
Norm Flayderman Collection of George E. Albee Materials
Manuscripts Division
Permanent URL:
circa 1864-2007
4 boxes and 2.4 linear feet
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-000903 to B-000905, P-000084


Consists primarily of United States Army officer George E. Albee's correspondence along with other papers, including a diary documenting his service with the 41st Infantry Regiment during the Indian Wars of 1869, which earned him the Medal of Honor. Some research files on Albee and his antiquean arms collection are also included.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Scope and Contents

The bulk of this collection consists of the papers of U.S. Army officer George E. Albee, primarily consists of correspondence with friends and associates, most of them military personnel. Of special interest is Albee's diary dating from 1869, which documents his time as 1st Lieutenant with the 41st Infantry Regiment at Fort Concho, Texas, including battles with the Comanche and Kiowas in October of that year for which he earned the Medal of Honor. Also included in the collection are some of Flayderman's research files related to Albee and Albee's collection of antique arms, as well as information regarding Flayderman's acquisition of Albee's collection.

George Emerson Albee (1845-1918) began his service with the U.S. Army during the Civil War where he fought with several Wisconsin infantry units, including Company G, 1st United States Sharpshooters (or Berdan's Sharpshooters), the 3rd Independent Battery Wisconsin Light Artillery, and the 36th Regiment Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. Company F. He was held at Libby Prison as a prisoner of war for some time in 1864. After the war, Albee accepted a commission in the regular service first as a 2nd lieutenant and then 1st lieutenant in several African American regiments, including the 36th, 41st, and 24th U.S. infantries. He served in the West until 1878; and his involvement in the Indian Wars earned him the Medal of Honor. Albee retired from the Army and became captain of the "National Blues" Co. D, 2nd Regiment Connecticut National Guard in 1891. Shortly thereafter, the governor promoted him to major and Brigade Inspector of Rifle Practice of the Connecticut National Guard. Albee was also a professional shooter, arms collector, and designer for Winchester Firearms Company in New Haven, Connecticut; and is known to have received at least two rifle patents. Albee and his first wife, Mary Hawes Albee (1848-1907), are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Collection Creator Biography:

Flayderman, Norm

E. Norman Flayderman (1928-2013) was an antique arms and militaria dealer, historian, and author, perhaps best known for his landmark book, Flayderman's Guide to Antique American Firearms and Their Values (1980). Flayderman began his firm, N. Flayderman & Co., Inc. in 1952 and became renowned in the trade for swords, bayonets, Colts, Bowie knives, naval dirks and edged weapons. He had a store in Greenwich, Connecticut, from 1958 to 1962 and then changed his business to a strictly catalog enterprise out of his Squash Hollow Estate in New Milford, Connecticut, from 1963 to 1986. He relocated in 1986 to Fort Lauderdale. During his time as a collector, Flayerman procured several significant collections, including the Philip Medicus collection of more than 600 Civil War swords, the largest collection of its kind sold, a collection of Lincoln documents and personal effects, the largest private collection of Kentucky rifles, the largest private collection of scrimshaw, and an extensive collection of historical American Judaica dating back to Jamestown.

Flayderman purchased George E. Albee's collection, which included weaponry and manuscripts, from descendants of Albee in 1979 and 1997 respectively.

Collection History


Purchase, 2017 . (AM 2017-114)

Custodial History

Fredericka Strong Albee (b. 1879), George E. Albee's second wife, gave Albee's collection of antique arms to Washington College, Maryland, as a conditional gift in 1930s and '40s. Descendants of Albee, Carey Strong Selby (grandson of Fredericka May Strong's first cousin) and Rose Selby, acquired other parts of the collection from Fredericka, including Albee's personal papers, in the 1950s. The portion of the collection held by Washington College was returned to the Selby's through legal means in 1975 after they discovered the collection had been neglected. Norm Flayderman purchased the arms portion of George E. Albee's collection from the Selby's in 1979 and later, Albee's manuscripts in 1997.


No materials were separated during 2017 processing.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Faith Charlton in April 2017 with assistance from Fiona Bell ('18). Finding aid written by Faith Charlton in April 2017.

Access & Use

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

Credit this material:

Norm Flayderman Collection of George E. Albee Materials; Manuscripts Division, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
Firestone Library
One Washington Road
Princeton, NJ 08544, USA
(609) 258-3184
Storage Note:
  • Firestone Library (scamss): Boxes B-000903 to B-000905, P-000084