Collector indicted in Transy library theft

Herald-Leader Staff Report

A Jefferson Davis collector who is accused of taking letters and other documents written by the president of the Confederate States of America was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury in Lexington.

Eugene C. Zollman of LaPorte, Ind., who was arrested by federal authorities in May, was charged with two counts of stealing objects of cultural heritage from Transylvania University. Police think Zollman originally stole some of the objects in 1994.

Zollman was caught after he tried to auction the items online. A Jefferson Davis scholar at Rice University in Texas saw the items and notified the auction house that she believed that the documents were once in the collection at Transylvania University. The scholar notified Transylvania University who then called police.

Police linked Zollman to the crime by checking its records of people who requested to see the library’s Davis collection in person. Zollman allegedly saw the collection four times in May 1994. During the investigation, police said they discovered that Zollman had also auctioned Davis documents that belonged to Transylvania through a New Orleans auction house in 1997, according to court documents.

An arraignment date for Zollman has not been set. If convicted, Zollman could receive a maximum of 10 years in prison.

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