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Thomas Jefferson: A Resource Guide

Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States Thomas Jefferson, Third President of the United States.
Pendleton's Lithography after a painting by Gilbert Stuart,
circa 1828.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:
LC-USZ62-117117

Digital Collections

Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606 to 1827

The complete Thomas Jefferson Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 27,000 documents. This is the largest collection of original Jefferson documents in the world. Document types in the collection as a whole include correspondence, commonplace books, financial account books, and manuscript volumes.

The online collection includes a timeline of Jefferson's life, a selection of his most famous quotations, as well as an essay titled "American Sphinx: The Contradictions of Thomas Jefferson" by Joseph J. Ellis. Also presented is an overview of the Jamestown Records of the Virginia Company of London.

A selection of highlights from this collection includes:

The Related Resources section of this collection contains a selected bibliography and links to related Web sites.

Additional Digital Collections

Alexander Hamilton Papers

The papers of Alexander Hamilton (ca. 1757-1804), first treasury secretary of the United States, consist of his personal and public correspondence, drafts of his writings, and correspondence among members of the Hamilton and Schuyler families.

Among the collection’s Jefferson-related materials are:

Capital and the Bay: Narratives of Washington and the Chesapeake Bay Region, 1600 to 1925

A collection consisting of 139 books on Washington, D.C. and the Chesapeake Bay region, including an 1832 edition of Jefferson's Notes on the State of Virginia.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

This collection contains a large selection of congressional material related to Thomas Jefferson's political career as a delegate to the Continental Congress, minister to France, secretary of state, and U.S. president. Search this collection by date and publication to find materials related to Jefferson.

Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention, 1774 to 1789

This collection contains documents relating to the work of the Continental Congress and the drafting and ratification of the Constitution. Jefferson's service in the Continental Congress is represented by broadsides such as the first issue of the Declaration of Independence printed with the names of the signers and Jefferson's notes on the establishment of a money unit and of a coinage for the United States.

George Washington Papers

The complete George Washington Papers collection from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 65,000 documents. This is the largest collection of original Washington documents in the world. The Washington Papers contain more than hundreds of items to, from, or referring to Thomas Jefferson. To find them, go to the collection’s search page and search on the exact phrase "Thomas Jefferson".

Among the collection’s Jefferson-related materials are:

  • A letter from George Washington to Jefferson on September 18, 1787, announcing the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention.
  • Washington's October 13, 1789, letter to Jefferson offering him the position of secretary of state.
  • Jefferson's opinion on the constitutionality of establishing a National Bank, dated February 15, 1791.

James Madison , 1723 to 1859

The James Madison Papers from the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress consist of approximately 12,000 items captured in some 72,000 digital images. The Madison Papers contain over 900 items to, from, or referring to Thomas Jefferson.

Among the collection’s Jefferson-related materials are:

  • Jefferson's notes on the debates in the Continental Congress from 1776.
  • A letter from Madison to Jefferson on August 10, 1788, explaining his involvement with the Federalist Papers.
  • A letter from Jefferson to Madison on June 29, 1812, discussing the declaration of war against Great Britain.

James Monroe Papers

The James Monroe Papers at the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress consist of approximately 5,200 items dating from 1758 to 1839. Consult the guide to using the James Monroe Papers in order to locate letters to and from Thomas Jefferson.

Among the collection’s Jefferson-related materials are:

Printed Ephemera: 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. Search the collection to find a large number of items related to Thomas Jefferson, including a copy of the Senate bill authorizing the purchase of Jefferson's library after the British burned the Capitol in 1814.

U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: "I Do Solemnly Swear..." A Resource Guide

This guide contains approximately 400 items relating to presidential inaugurations, including Jefferson's first inauguration in 1801 and his second inauguration in 1805.

Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years

In honor of the Manuscript Division's centennial, its staff has selected for online display approximately ninety representative documents spanning from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The collection contains nine documents related to Thomas Jefferson, including a subpoena served on Jefferson to testify at Aaron Burr's trial for treason and a letter from James Monroe to Jefferson on October 17, 1823, seeking foreign-policy advice.

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  September 13, 2017
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