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Research Center Manuscript Reading Room

Virtual Exhibitions

Many Library of Congress Online Exhibits feature documents from Manuscript Division collections. The below list serves as a resource guide providing links to select virtual exhibits that remain available on the Library’s website via the Exhibits Office. Much of the content in these exhibits was expressly curated by Manuscript Division staff or contains a significant portion of Manuscript Division collection material.

Contact division reference librarians or collection specialists for more information regarding collections items found in the Library's online exhibits.

  • The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture

    Marks the publication of The African-American Mosaic: A Library of Congress Resource Guide for the Study of Black History and Culture. The exhibit explores four topics from the book: colonization, abolition, migrations, and the Works Progress Administration.

  • The African American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship

    Showcases the Library’s incomparable African American collections. The largest black history exhibit held at the Library includes books, documents, maps, musical scores, plays, films, and recordings.

  • American Treasures of the Library of Congress

    Drawing on the special and general collections from throughout the Library’s holdings, this broadly interdisciplinary exhibition provides unique insight into various aspects of American history and culture. Objects displayed are organized according to the three categories that Thomas Jefferson used for his historic library: memory, reason, and imagination.

  • The American Colony in Jerusalem

    Offers a glimpse into the remarkable history and work of the American Colony in Jerusalem. A utopian community formed in the Holy Land by a group of American Christians in 1881, the eclectic American Colony evolved as empires and nation-states shifted around it.

  • Baseball Americana

    Features items from the Library of Congress collections and those of its lending partners to consider the game then and now—as it relates to players, teams, and the communities it creates. Although baseball has stayed true to many of its customs, it has also broken with tradition through the invention, competition, and financial interests that still make it the most played sport in the country.

  • Benjamin Franklin: In His Own Words

    The depth and breadth of Benjamin Franklin's public, professional, and scientific accomplishments are highlighted through documents, letters, books, broadsides, and cartoons from throughout his life and career.

  • Bob Hope and American Variety

    Explores variety entertainment through the lens of Bob Hope’s long and rich career, in which he continued to practice the variety traditions he learned on the vaudeville stage. Includes comedic scripts from Manuscript Division collections.

  • Hope for America: Performers, Politics and Pop Culture

    A look at politics and popular entertainment during the lifetime of the legendary humorist Bob Hope, as well as Hope's legacy within the field of American political humor.

  • A Century of Creativity: The MacDowell Colony 1907-2007

    Provides a unique interdisciplinary opportunity to appreciate the MacDowell Colony experience and success, from its earliest fellows to the most recent, including writers, poets, artists, playwrights, and composers.

  • Churchill and the Great Republic

    Presents the life of Winston Churchill, his career, and his connection with the United States, a country he called “The Great Republic.” A unique interactive presentation is a featured part of the exhibit.

  • The Civil Rights Act: A Long Struggle for Freedom

    This exhibition, which commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, explores the events that shaped the civil rights movement, as well as the far-reaching impact the act had on a changing society. The act is considered the most significant piece of civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

  • The Civil War in America

    Drawing from hundreds of thousands of items from across many collections of the Library of Congress, the materials included in this exhibition attest to the valor, sacrifices, emotions, and accomplishments of those in both the North and South whose lives were affected by the bitter conflict of 1861–1865.

  • Creating the United States

    Offers insights into how the nation’s founding documents were forged and the role that cooperation, compromise, and creativity played in the unprecedented act of forming a self-governing country. On physical display at the Library of Congress beginning April 2008.

  • Declaring Independence: Drafting the Documents

    A preview of American Treasures presentations on the founding documents of the United States, including pictorial images as well as texts.

  • The Dream of Flight

    Honors the achievement of Orville and Wilbur Wright, using the Library’s rare and manuscript materials and photographs to explore their invention and career, as well as the notion that flight, whether fanciful or actual, has inspired and occupied a central place in most cultures.

  • Echoes of the Great War: American Experiences of World War I

    Examines the upheaval of world war as Americans confronted it— both at home and abroad. The exhibition considers the debates and struggles that surrounded U.S. engagement; explores U.S. military and home front mobilization and the immensity of industrialized warfare; and touches on the war’s effects, as an international peace settlement was negotiated, national borders were redrawn, and soldiers returned to reintegrate into American society.

  • For European Recovery: The Fiftieth Anniversary of the Marshall Plan

    Marks the fiftieth anniversary of Secretary of State George Marshall’s speech proposing a solution to the hunger, unemployment, and housing shortages that faced Europeans in the aftermath of World War II and examines the ways his plan benefited Europe and the U.S.

  • Exploring the Early Americas

    Examines indigenous cultures, the drama of the encounters between Native Americans and Europeans, and the changes caused by the meeting of the two worlds. It features artifacts, books, and documents from the Jay I. Kislak Collection and related maps and manuscripts.

  • Finding Our Place in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan

    Like our ancestors, we look up at the heavens and wonder. What is the structure of the universe? How significant are we? Are we alone? To commemorate the acquisition of The Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive, the Library of Congress presents an exploration of these questions across the breadth of its collections and offers a first glimpse into Carl Sagan’s papers.

  • From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America

    Features more than two hundred treasures of American Judaica from the collections of the Library of Congress, augmented by a selection of important loans from other cooperating cultural institutions.

  • The Gettysburg Address

    Shows the Library’s two copies of the famous address. President Lincoln gave a copy to each of his two private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. The Nicolay copy is believed to be the earliest copy that exists.

  • I Do Solemnly Swear... Inaugural Materials from the Collections of the Library of Congress

    Offers a glimpse into the history of American presidential inaugurations. Eighteen presidents are featured in the display, from George Washington to John F. Kennedy.

  • In the Beginning Was the Word: Russian Church and Native Alaskan Cultures

    Presents objects from a relatively unknown archive of significant documents. The exhibit explores the moving human exchanges that took place between the Russian Orthodox Church in Alaska and Native Alaskans between 1794 and about 1915.

  • Jacob Riis: Revealing "How the Other Half Lives"

    Repositions Jacob Riis as a multi-skilled communicator who devoted his life to writing articles and books and delivering lectures nationwide to spur social reform.

  • John Bull and Uncle Sam: Four Centuries of British and American Relations

    Brings together for the first time treasures from the two greatest libraries in the English-speaking world—the British Library and the Library of Congress—in order to illuminate the relationship between the two countries.

  • Madison’s Treasures

    Examines documents related to two seminal events in which James Madison played a major role: the drafting and ratification of the U.S. Constitution and the introduction of the amendments that became the Bill of Rights.

  • Margaret Mead: Human Nature and the Power of Culture

    Documents Mead’s life, her career as an anthropologist, and the critical reception of her work by drawing upon the 500,000–item Mead Collection, one of the Library’s largest collections for a single individual.

  • NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedom

    The NAACP: A Century in the Fight for Freedomexhibition presents a retrospective of the major personalities, events, and achievements that shaped the NAACP’s history during its first 100 years

  • The Red Book of Carl Jung: Its Origins and Influence

    Features the preeminent psychoanalyst Carl G. Jung’s famous Red Book, which records the creation of the seminal theories that Jung developed after his 1913 split with Sigmund Freud, and explores its place in Jung’s work through related items from the Library’s collections.

  • Religion and the Founding of the American Republic

    Documents the role that religion played in the shaping of early American life and in the formation of the American republic.

  • Rosa Parks in Her Own Words

    Showcases rarely seen materials that offer an intimate view of Rosa Parks and documents her life and activism—creating a rich opportunity for viewers to discover new dimensions to their understanding of this seminal figure.

  • Revising Himself: Walt Whitman and Leaves of Grass

    Traces the different occupations and preparations that led Whitman to become the author of Leaves of Grass, as well as his subsequent evolution as a poet.

  • Rivers, Edens, Empires: Lewis & Clark and the Revealing of America

    Features the Library’s rich collections of exploration material documenting the mid-eighteenth to mid–nineteenth century quest to connect the East and the West by means of a waterway passage.

  • Shall Not Be Denied: Women Fight for the Vote

    Tells the story of the seventy-two-year campaign for women’s suffrage. Considered the largest reform movement in American history, its participants believed that securing the vote was essential to achieving women’s economic, social, and political equality. For years, determined women organized, lobbied, paraded, petitioned, lectured, picketed, and faced imprisonment. Their collective story is one of courage, perseverance, savvy, creativity, and hope that continues to inspire activists today.

  • Roger L. Stevens Presents

    Examines Stevens’s career through the great number of stage productions that he presented or fostered indirectly, his involvement with the National Endowment for the Arts, and his role as in creating the John F. Kennedy Center.

  • Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture

    Examines Freud’s life, his key ideas, and their impact on the twentieth century. The exhibit includes photographs, prints, manuscripts, first editions, home movies, and materials from newspapers, magazines and comic books.

  • Temple of Liberty: Building the Capitol for a New Nation

    Presents the story of building the nation’s Capitol and the symbolic, aesthetic, and pragmatic issues that surrounded the creation of America’s most important public building.

  • Thomas Jefferson

    Draws on the Library’s Thomas Jefferson materials to examine the influence Jefferson’s thoughts and interests had on his own life, the American republic, and the world.

  • With an Even Hand: Brown v. Board at Fifty

    Commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the landmark judicial case, which declared that “separate educational facilities are inherently unequal.” This decision was pivotal to the struggle for racial desegregation in the United States.

  • With Malice Towards None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition

    Commemorates the two-hundredth anniversary of the birth of the nation’s revered sixteenth president. More than a chronological account of the life of Abraham Lincoln, the exhibition reveals Lincoln the man, whose thoughts, words, and actions were deeply affected by personal experiences and pivotal historic events. A companion volume containing original essays about favorite Lincoln documents, In Lincoln's hand: His Original Manuscripts With Commentary by Distinguished Americans, is available for sale through the Library of Congress Gift Shop. See also the Opening Reception of "With Malice Toward None" Lincoln Exhibition (webcast)

  • Women Come to the Front: Journalists, Photographers, and Broadcasters During WWII

    Features women journalists who were chosen because of the strength and variety of their collections in the Library. Like their male counterparts, the women followed various paths to their wartime assignments.

  • The Work of Charles and Ray Eames: A Legacy of Invention

    Explores how this famous couple shaped America’s culture in the twentieth century. Charles and Ray Eames’s work represented defining moments in American history, such as the economy’s shift from making goods to producing information.

  • World Treasures of the Library of Congress: Beginnings

    Looks at how various cultures explained the beginning of the world, depicted the first human beings, and defined the heavens and the earth by drawing upon unique items from the Library’s international collections in more than 450 languages.


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