March 9, 2000 New On-Line Collections Added to American Memory Web Site

Lincoln, Bernstein, and African American Materials

Contact: Guy Lamolinara (202) 707-9217

The "Abraham Lincoln Papers," "The Leonard Bernstein Collection," and the "From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909," are the latest additions to the Library's American Memory Web site at

The "Abraham Lincoln Papers" consist of approximately 20,000 documents, which date from the 1850s through Lincoln's presidential years, 1860-65. The materials include drafts of the Emancipation Proclamation, his second Inaugural Address and a memorandum stating his expectation of being defeated for reelection in the upcoming presidency. Also in the collection are documents from his friends, associates and other well- known political figures during his days in Springfield, Ill. "The Abraham Lincoln Papers" include 300 letters that are housed in the Manuscript Division. This gift is being funded by the Jones Family Foundation.

The Music Division's "Leonard Bernstein Collection" is one of the largest and most varied collections in the division and represents the breadth of one of the 20th century's most important musical figures. The 400,000 items include music and literary manuscripts, correspondence, photographs, audio and video recordings, fan mail, and other materials that were carefully kept by Bernstein's longtime friend and secretary, Helen Coates, who donated them to the Library through the Springate Corporation, representatives of the Bernstein estate. The on-line collection consists of 85 photographs, 177 scripts from the "Young People's Concerts," 74 scripts from the "Thursday Evening Previews," and more than 1,100 pieces of correspondence.

The Rare Book and Special Collections Division presents "From Slavery to Freedom: The African-American Pamphlet Collection, 1824-1909", which consists of 397 pamphlets by African American authors on slavery, African colonization, emancipation, Reconstruction and other related topics. The authors include Frederick Douglass, Kelly Miller, Charles Sumner, Mary Church Terrell, and Booker T. Washington. A variety of the materials incorporate personal accounts, public orations, organizational reports, and legislative speeches. This historical collection was given by the Citigroup Foundation and complements "African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection, 1818-1907," also from American Memory.

These new collections have been added to the more than 70 freely available from American Memory, which is a project of the National Digital Library Program. The program aims to bring more than 5 million items of American history to citizens everywhere as a "Gift to the Nation" for the Library's Bicentennial on April 24. Recently added collections document the career of Calvin Coolidge, quiltmaking in America and folk songs from the South.

The Library of Congress, founded April 24, 1800, is the nation's oldest federal cultural institution. It preserves a collection of nearly 119 million items -- more than two-thirds of which are in media other than books. These include the largest map and film and television collections in the world. In addition to its primary mission of serving the research needs of the U.S. Congress, the Library serves all Americans through its popular Web site ( and its 21 reading rooms on Capitol Hill.

"We will celebrate with pride our first 200 years of Library history," said Dr. Billington. "During that time, the Library has grown in the world's largest repository of knowledge and creativity, which it has preserved for all generation of Americans. We want to take advantage of this opportunity to energize national awareness of the critical role that all libraries play in keeping the spirit of creativity and free inquiry alive in our society."


PR 00-030
ISSN 0731-3527