Curtis Field Burnam was a well-respected lawyer, judge, and statesman from Richmond, KY. He was a refined orator, as well, and numerous items in the collection are copies of addresses and orations which he presented to a variety of audiences. Much of the material has to do with the Civil War in Kentucky and in general. Many aspects of the Civil War, such as secession, abolition, and slavery, are reflected in the collection via newspaper articles, correspondence, and addresses.
His daughter, Lucia Burnam, also has material in the collection such as her personal diary, passport, and a memoir in which she recounts the events surrounding the Battle of Richmond.