Selected Special Collections
Marian S. Carson Collection, (over 10,000 items)
The Americana collection of Marian Sadtler Carson (1905-2004) spans the years 1656-1995 with the bulk of the material dating from 1700 to 1876. The collection includes more than 10,000 historical letters and manuscripts, broadsides, photographs, prints and drawings, books and pamphlets, maps, and printed ephemera from the colonial era through the 1876 centennial of the United States.
It is believed to be the most extensive existing private collection of early Americana. The collection includes such important and diverse historical treasures as unpublished papers of Revolutionary War figures and the Continental Congress; letters of several American presidents, including Thomas Jefferson; a manuscript account of the departure of the first Pony Express rider from St. Joseph, Mo.; and what may be the earliest photograph of a human face.
Many of the rare books and pamphlets in the collection pertain to the early Congresses of the United States, augmenting the Library's unparalleled collection of political pamphlets and imprints. The Carson Collection adds to the Library's holdings the first presidential campaign biography, John Beckley's Address to the people of the United States with an Epitome and vindication of the Public Life and Character of Thomas Jefferson, published in Philadelphia in 1800. The book was written to counter numerous attacks against Jefferson's character, which appeared in newspapers and pamphlets during the bitter election campaign.
The Rare Book and Special Collections Division shares custodial responsibility for the collection with the Library's Geography and Map Division, Music Division, Prints and Photographs Division, and the Manuscript Division.
Digitized Material Available from the Marian S. Carson Collection
See like collections at the Rare Book and Special Collections Division: American Imprints:Books and pamphlets printed in the United States between 1640 and 1800, (16,990 titles); American Almanacs: Seventeenth through Nineteenth Century American Almanacs.
Also see the Manuscript Division's Carson finding aid,numerous Carson collections in the Prints and Photographs Division.