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Presidential Election of 1908: A Resource Guide

Illustration shows William H. Taft and William Jennings Bryan on a seesaw
Taft to-morrow / L.M. Glackens.
1 photomechanical print: offset, color.
N.Y.: J. Ottmann Lith. Co.,
Puck Bldg.,
October 7, 1908.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of material associated with the presidential election of 1908, including photographs, political cartoons, broadsides, and newspaper articles. This guide compiles links to digital materials related to the presidential election of 1908 that are available throughout the Library of Congress Web site. In addition, it provides links to external Web sites focusing on the 1908 election and a selected bibliography.

1908 Presidential Election Results [1]

Political Party
Presidential Nominee
VP Nominee
Electoral College
Popular Vote
William Howard Taft
James S. Sherman
William Jennings Bryan
John W. Kern

Library of Congress Web Site | External Web Sites | Selected Bibliography

Digital Collections

An American Time Capsule: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The Printed Ephemera collection comprises 28,000 primary-source items dating from the seventeenth century to the present and encompasses key events and eras in American history. While the broadside format represents the bulk of the collection, there are a significant number of leaflets and some pamphlets.

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film

This collection consists of 104 motion pictures, eight of which are featured in other online collections, and four sound recordings.

  • The sculptor's nightmare (American Mutoscope and Biograph Company, 1908) - At a political club, the members debate whose bust will replace that of Theodore Roosevelt. Unable to agree, each goes to a sculptor's studio and bribes him to sculpt a bust of the individual favorite. Instead, the sculptor spends their fees on a dinner with his model during which he becomes so inebriated that he is taken to jail. There he has a nightmare, wherein three busts are created and animated from clay (through stop-motion photography) in the likenesses of Democrat William Jennings Bryan and Republicans Charles W. Fairbanks and William Howard Taft. Finally an animated bust of Roosevelt appears.

Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers

Chronicling America

This site allows you to search and view millions of historic American newspaper pages from 1836-1922. Search this collection to find newspaper articles about the presidential election of 1908.

A selection of articles on the 1908 presidential election includes:

In addition, the Newspaper and Current Periodical Reading Room has created a series of topics guides to the newspapers included in Chronicling America, including the presidential election of 1908.

Prints & Photographs Division

Pictorial Americana: Selected Images from the Collections of the Library of Congress

Pictorial Americana, a Library of Congress publication, contains a chapter listing selected images related to the 1908 presidential election.

Prints & Photographs Online Catalog (PPOC)

Search PPOC using the names of the candidates to find additional prints, political cartoons, and other digital images related to the presidential election of 1908. Also, search on the subject heading Presidential elections--United States--1900-1910.

A selection of images from the 1908 presidential election includes:

External Web Sites

The American Presidency Project: Election of 1908 External Link

The American Presidency Project Web site presents election results from the 1908 presidential election.

HarpWeek: The Presidential Elections 1860-1912 External Link

This HarpWeek Web site features political cartoons from Harper's Weekly, Leslie's Illustrated Weekly, Vanity Fair, Puck, Judge, and American Political Prints, 1766-1876: A Catalog of the Collections in the Library of Congress. It provides explanations of the historical context and images of each cartoon, campaign overviews, biographical sketches, a review of the era's major issues, and other valuable information related to the 1908 presidential election.

Selected Bibliography

Primary Sources

The Campaign Text Book of the Democratic Party of the United States, 1908 Issued by Authority of the Democratic National Committee. Chicago: Western Newspaper Union, 1908. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Official Report of the Proceedings of the Democratic National Convention Held in Denver, Colorado, July 7, 8, 9 and 10, 1908, Resulting in the Nomination of Hon. William Jennings Bryan (of Nebraska) for President and Hon. John Worth Kern (of Indiana) for Vice-President, Reported by Milton W. Blumenberg, Official Reporter. Chicago: Press of Western Newspaper Union, 1908. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Official Report of the Proceedings of the Fourteenth Republican National Convention, Held in Chicago, Illinois, June 16, 17, 18 and 19, 1908 ... Reported by Milton W. Blumenberg. Columbus, Ohio: Published Under the Supervision of the General Secretary of the Convention, 1908. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Republican Campaign Text-Book, 1908: Issued by the Republican National Committee. Philadelphia: Press of Dunlap Printing Company, 1908. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Socialist Campaign Book, Comp. Under the Direction of National Executive Committee by Joseph Medill Patterson...Chicago: National Headquarters Socialist Party, 1908. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Salt, Mark H., ed. Candidates and the Issues. n. p., 1908. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link

Taft, William Howard. Political Issues and Outlooks; Speeches Delivered Between August, 1908, and February, 1909, New York: Doubleday, Page & Company, 1909. [Catalog Record] [Full Text] External Link


1. Presidential Elections, 1789-2008. (Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2010), 146, 236.

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