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 home >> Civil Rights History Project >> Survey of Collections and Repositories >> Repositories >> Repository Record

The Civil Rights History Project: Survey of Collections and Repositories

Library of Congress. Manuscript Division

101 Independence Ave. SE
Room LM 101
Washington, District of Columbia 20540

Fax: 202-707-7791

Phone: 202-707-5387

Repository URL:

Repository code: dlcmss

Repository description (extant): The Manuscript Division was one of several "departments" established in 1897 when the Library of Congress moved from the United States Capitol to a separate building nearby. Its staff of four assumed custody of a collection of twenty-five thousand manuscripts which had accumulated throughout the nineteenth century, chiefly through the purchase in 1867 of Peter Force's collection of Americana, the gift in 1882 of Joseph M. Toner's collection relating to George Washington and American medical history, and several small transfers from the Smithsonian Institution. In 1903, by an act of Congress and an executive order, the State Department began transferring historical papers, including several presidential collections, which had been acquired by the federal government.

Despite its early concentration upon acquiring original manuscripts for political, military, and diplomatic history, the division soon broadened its acquisition interests, especially after World War II, to include cultural history, history of science, and the archives of nongovernmental organizations. Its current holdings, nearly sixty million items contained in eleven thousand separate collections, include some of the greatest manuscript treasures of American history and culture. Among these are Jefferson's rough draft of the Declaration of Independence, James Madison's notes on the Federal Convention, George Washington's first inaugural address, the paper tape of the first telegraphic message--"What hath God wrought?", Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and second inaugural address, and Alexander Graham Bell's first drawing of the telephone.

Repository type: Federal Repository


National Association for the Advancement of Colored People records
A. Philip Randolph papers
Bayard Rustin papers
James Forman papers
National Urban League records
Tom Kahn papers
Daniel P. Moynihan papers
Jackie Robinson papers
Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters records
Leadership Conference on Civil Rights records
Halsey McGovern papers
Kenneth Bancroft Clark papers
Arthur B. Spingarn papers
Roy Wilkins papers
Lorenzo Johnston Greene papers
Hugh H. Smythe and Mabel M. Smythe papers
Kendrick-Brooks family papers
Mary Church Terrell papers
Edward William Brooke papers
Ethel L. Payne papers


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   May 15, 2015
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