Manuscript Division materials in the collections listed below
are available as digital images or as searchable text. Please read
restrictions before making use of these documents. Many are included in the Library's page for collections in manuscript/mixed materials format.
This Special Presentation of the Library of Congress exhibition, The
African-American Odyssey: A Quest for Full Citizenship, showcases
the Library's incomparable African-American collections. The presentation
was not only a highlight of what is on view in this major black
history exhibition, but also a glimpse into the Library's vast
African-American collections. Both include a wide array of important
and rare books, government documents, manuscripts, maps, musical
scores, plays, films, and recordings.
American Colony in Jerusalem
This presentation features letters, scrapbooks, photograph albums, and other documentation from Part I of the American Colony in Jerusalem Collection. The full collection in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress represents well over 10,000 items stemming from the history of the American Colony, a non-denominational utopian Christian community founded by a small group of American expatriates in Ottoman Palestine in 1881.
Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Folklore Project, WPA
Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1940
These life histories were compiled and transcribed by the staff
of the Folklore Project of the Federal Writers' Project for the
U.S. Works Progress (later Work Projects) Administration (WPA)
from 1936-1940. The Library of Congress collection includes 2,900
documents representing the work of over 300 writers from 24 states.
The histories describe the informant's family education, income,
occupation, political views, religion and mores, medical needs,
diet and miscellaneous observations.
Women: A Gateway to Library of Congress Resources for the Study
of Women's History and Culture in the United States (Manuscript
The Manuscript Division holds collections
of notable women who were involved in the suffrage and abolition
campaigns, as well as the papers of first ladies, of women who
achieved various “firsts” in history, and of women who
were pioneers in fields formerly restricted to men. Also obtained
were the records of women's voluntary associations and national
reform and trade organizations founded and supported by women.
Other holdings include letters and diaries documenting women's
everyday existence and revealing women's hopes, disappointments,
Susan B. Anthony Papers
The papers of reformer and suffragist Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) span the period 1846-1934 with the bulk of the material dating from 1846 to 1906. The collection, consisting of approximately 500 items (6,265 images) on seven recently digitized microfilm reels, includes correspondence, diaries, a daybook, scrapbooks, speeches, and miscellaneous items. Donated by her niece, Lucy E. Anthony, the papers relate to Susan B. Anthony's interests in abolition and women's education, her campaign for women's property rights and suffrage in New York, and her work with the National Woman Suffrage Association, the organization she and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded in 1869 when the suffrage movement split into two rival camps at odds about whether to press for a federal women's suffrage amendment or to seek state-by-state enfranchisement.
Hannah Arendt Papers at the Library of Congress
The papers of the author, educator, and political philosopher Hannah
Arendt (1906-1975) are one of the principal sources for the study
of modern intellectual life and constitute a large and diverse
collection reflecting a complex career. With over 25,000 items
(about 75,000 digital images), the papers contain correspondence,
articles, lectures, speeches, book manuscripts, transcripts of
Adolf Eichmann's trial proceedings, notes, and printed matter pertaining
to Arendt's writings and academic career. The entire collection
has been digitized and is available to researchers in reading rooms
at the Library of Congress, the New School University in New York
City, and the Hannah Arendt Center at the University of Oldenburg,
Germany. Parts of the collection and the finding aid are available
for public access on the Internet.
John Carvel Arnold Papers
The papers of laborer and Union soldier John Carvel Arnold (1833-1865) consist of 190 items (533 images) in one container and span the years 1856-1937, with the bulk dating from 1864 to 1874. The collection principally contains correspondence of Arnold with his wife, Mary Ann Arnold, during his Civil War service with Company I, 49th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army, relating chiefly to his views on the military situation in Virginia and Maryland (1864-1865), army rations and pay, the Confederates, Copperhead Democrats, family finances, and his wife's difficulties in maintaining a home and educating the children.
The Clara Barton Papers at the Library of Congress
Philanthropist, nurse, educator, and lecturer. Correspondence, diaries, reports, legal and financial papers, organizational records, lectures, writings, scrapbooks, printed matter, memorabilia, and other papers relating to Barton's work to provide relief services during the Civil War and the Franco-Prussian War, the work of the American National Red Cross which she founded, and the National First Aid Association of America.
Mary Anne Bickerdyke Papers
The papers of Mary Ann Ball Bickerdyke (1817-1901), a Civil War nurse and agent for the United States Sanitary Commission who was known as "Mother Bickerdyke" to Union soldiers, consist of 1,800 items in five containers spanning the years 1847-1905. A large portion of the papers consists of correspondence grouped into family, general, and special correspondence files.
Wm. Oland Bourne Papers
The papers of reformer, poet, editor, and clergyman William Oland Bourne (1819-1901) span the years 1841-1885, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1856-1867. As editor of the periodical The Soldier's Friend, Bourne sponsored a contest in 1865-1866 in which Union soldiers and sailors who lost their right arms by disability or amputation during the Civil War were invited to submit samples of their penmanship using their left hands. The contest, which awarded a total of $1,000 in prizes for the winning entries, was followed in 1867 by a second contest, which awarded $500 in prizes.
Breneman Family Collection of Early American Manuscripts
Correspondence, oath of allegiance, notes, certificates, and other papers pertaining to colonial Pennsylvania, the American Revolution, and the experiences of German immigrants in the mid- to late-eighteenth century Pennsylvania. Individuals represented include Edward Braddock; Richard Butler; John Harris; George II, King of Great Britain; Georges Washington Louis Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de Lafayette; Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert Du Motier, marquis de Lafayette; Phillip Marsteller; Robert Hunter Morris; Samuel Morris; Henry Melchior Muhlenberg; Thomas Penn; Timothy Pickering; George B. Porter; Christian Reinick, Edward Shippen; William Smith, Arthur St. Clair, Henry William Stiegel, and George Washington.
James Buchanan and Harriet Lane Johnston Papers
The papers of James Buchanan (1791-1868), representative and senator of Pennsylvania, secretary of state, and fifteenth president of the United States, and those of his niece and White House hostess Harriet Lane Johnston (1830-1903) contain approximately 1,600 items dating from 1825 to 1887. James Buchanan’s papers include correspondence, notes, drafts of remarks, commissions, land patents and other papers relating chiefly to Buchanan’s career in the United States Senate, as secretary of state, and as minister to Great Britain prior to his presidency.
Salmon P. Chase Papers
The papers of Ohio governor, Lincoln cabinet official, and Supreme Court justice Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873) span the years 1755-1898, with the bulk of the material originating between 1824 and 1872. They consist of approximately 12,500 items, most digitally scanned from 38 microfilm reels. The papers focus chiefly on Chase’s legal career, activities as an abolitionist, involvement in Ohio and national politics, tenure as secretary of the treasury (1861-1864), influence on national finance, and service as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court (1864-1873).
Confederate States of America Records
The records of the Confederate States of America span the years 1854-1889, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1861-1865, during the Civil War in America. The collection relates to the formation of the government of the Confederacy and the conduct of its internal, external, and military affairs. With few exceptions, the collection consists of official or semiofficial records generated by departments of the Confederate government and their agents. The departments of state, justice, treasury, navy, war, and the post office are represented, along with material relating to the president, congress, and constitution.
Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers, 1862-1939
The online version of the Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at
the Library of Congress comprises a selection of 4,695 items (totaling
about 51,500 images). This presentation contains correspondence,
scientific notebooks, journals, blueprints, articles, and photographs
documenting Bell's invention of the telephone and his involvement
in the first telephone company, his family life, his interest in
the education of the deaf, and his aeronautical and other scientific
research. Included among Bell's papers are pages from his experimental
notebook from March 10, 1876, describing the first successful experiment
with the telephone, during which he spoke through the instrument
to his assistant the famous words, "Mr. Watson--Come here--I
want to see you." Bell's various roles in life as teacher,
inventor, celebrity, and family man are covered extensively in
Harry A. Blackmun Papers at the Library of Congess
The papers of Harry Andrew Blackmun (1908-1999), lawyer, judge,
and associate justice of the United States Supreme Court, are housed
in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. The collection
spans the years 1913-2001 with the bulk concentrated from 1959
to 1994. Selected materials from the collection -- including the
38-hour oral history video interviews and associated transcript
-- have been digitized and are now publicly available online. Other
case materials have been digitized but must be viewed at a special
workstation in the Manuscript Reading Room.
Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920
This presentation documents the historical formation and cultural
foundations of the movement to conserve and protect America's natural
heritage, through books, pamphlets, government documents, manuscripts,
prints, photographs, and motion picture footage drawn from the
collections of the Library of Congress. The collection includes
a report prepared by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1865 and a private
souvenir album documenting the 1899 Harriman Alaska expedition.
and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929
This collection assembles a wide array of Library of Congress source
materials from the 1920s that document the widespread prosperity
of the Coolidge years, the nation's transition to a mass consumer
economy, and the role of government in this transition. The collection
includes nearly 150 selections from twelve collections of personal
papers and two collections of institutional papers from the Manuscript
Division. It is particularly strong in advertising and mass-marketing
materials and will be of special interest to those seeking to understand
economic and political forces at work in the 1920s.
Finding Our Way in the Cosmos: From Galileo to Sagan and Beyond
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? In Carl Sagan’s words, “we are a way for the cosmos to know itself.” 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.
Nathan W. Daniels Diary and Scrapbook
The papers of Union army officer and Freedmen’s Bureau advocate Nathan W. Daniels (1836-1867), spanning the years 1861-1867, consist of three volumes of a handwritten diary with photographs, illustrations, and newspaper clippings mounted throughout the text. Also included are a typescript of summaries and transcripts of the bulk of the diaries prepared by the donor of the collection, C. P. Weaver, and a scrapbook of newspaper clippings.
Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress
The papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist
who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming
an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher contain
approximately 7,400 items (38,000 images) relating to Douglass'
life as an escaped slave, abolitionist, editor, orator, and public
servant. The papers span the years 1841 to 1964, with the bulk
of the material from 1862 to 1895. The collection consists of correspondence,
speeches and articles by Douglass and his contemporaries, a draft
of his autobiography, financial and legal papers, scrapbooks, and
Millard Fillmore Papers
The papers of Millard Fillmore (1800-1874), educator, U.S. representative from New York, vice president, and thirteenth president of the United States, contain approximately thirty-five items spanning the years 1839-1925, with the bulk dating from 1839 to 1870. The collection includes correspondence relating primarily to political issues such as slavery, Compromise of 1850, Fugitive Slave Law of 1850, Kansas-Nebraska Act, John Brown's 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, and congressional politics.
Benjamin Franklin Papers
The papers of statesman, publisher, scientist, and diplomat Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) consist of approximately 8,000 items spanning the years 1726 to 1907, with most dating from the 1770s and 1780s. The collection documents Franklin's diplomatic roles as a colonial representative in London and France, where he sought to win recognition and funding from European countries during the American Revolution, negotiated the treaty with Britain that ended the war, and served as the first United States minister to France. The papers also document Franklin's work as a scientist, inventor, and observer of the natural world.
Diplomacy: The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the
Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training
This collection presents a window into the lives of American diplomats.
Transcripts of interviews with U.S. diplomatic personnel capture
their experiences, motivations, critiques, personal analyses, and
private thoughts. These elements are crucial to understanding
the full story of how a structure of stable relationships that
maintained world peace and protected U.S. interests and values
was built. The interviews in the collection are mostly with Foreign
Service Officers but there also are some with political appointees
and other officials.
Fortress: The Library of Congress, 1939-1953
This presentation tells the history of the Library of Congress
during a particularly important period. From 1939 to 1953 the Library
underwent a myriad of changes that established the institution
as one of America’s foremost citadels of intellectual freedom.
Archibald MacLeish and Luther Harris Evans, Librarians of Congress
during this time, adopted new administrative procedures that improved
the Library’s ability to acquire collections and made it
a more vital resource both for Congress and the public during and
after the war.
Sigmund Freud Papers
The papers of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) span the years from about the 6th century B.C.E. (a small Greek statue) to 1998, with the bulk of material dating from 1871 to 1939. The digitized collection documents Freud's founding of psychoanalysis, the maturation of psychoanalytic theory, the refinement of its clinical technique, and the proliferation of its adherents and critics. Many facets of Freud's life and work are reflected, including his early medical and clinical training; his relationship with family, friends, colleagues, students, and patients; his association with early psychoanalytic societies; his perspectives on analytical training; and his numerous writings.
Samuel J. Gibson Diary and Correspondence
The papers of Union soldier Samuel J. Gibson (1833-1878) consist of a diary kept by Gibson in 1864 while serving with Company B, 103rd Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment, and a letter to his wife while held as a prisoner at Camp Sumter in Georgia, the Confederate prisoner of war camp commonly known as Andersonville Prison. The diary documents the capture of the Federal garrison at Plymouth, North Carolina, in April 1864, and Gibson’s experiences as a prisoner of war at Andersonville and Florence, South Carolina.
William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection
The William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection (ca. 500 items) spans the years 1773 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from the Civil War period, 1861-1865. The collection consists of correspondence, pay vouchers, orders, muster rolls, enlistment and discharge papers, receipts, contracts, affidavits, tax records, miscellaneous military documents, and printed matter. Most items document African Americans in military service, especially the United States Corps d'Afrique and the United States Colored Troops, which were organized during the Civil War.
Ulysses S. Grant Papers
The papers of Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), army officer and eighteenth president of the United States, contain approximately 50,000 items dating from 1819-1974, with the bulk falling in the period 1843-1885. They include general and family correspondence, speeches, writings, reports, messages, military records, financial and legal records, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and other papers. The collection relates to Grant's service in the Mexican War and Civil War, his pre-Civil War career, and his postwar service as U.S. secretary of war ad interim under President Andrew Johnson, his 1868 presidential campaign and two-term presidency, his unsuccessful 1880 presidential bid, and his extensive travels and financial difficulties.
Do Solemnly Swear ...": Presidential Inaugurations
A collection of approximately 400 items or 2,000 digital files
relating to inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to George
W. Bush's inauguration of 2001. This presentation includes diaries
and letters of presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations,
handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural
tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music. The
collection has been organized chronologically by presidential inauguration
and an effort has been made to offer a balanced number of items
for each inaugural event.
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 (although not his Federalist essays), and correspondence among members of the Hamilton and Schuyler families. The collection, consisting of approximately 12,000 items dating from 1708 to 1917, documents Hamilton's impoverished Caribbean boyhood (scantily); events in the lives of his family and that of his wife, Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton; his experience as a Revolutionary War officer and aide-de-camp to General George Washington; his terms as a New York delegate to the Continental Congress (1782-1783) and the Constitutional Convention (1787); and his careers as a New York state legislator, United States treasury secretary (1789-1795), political writer, and lawyer in private practice.
Warren G. Harding-Carrie Fulton Phillips Correspondence
The Warren G. Harding-Carrie Fulton Phillips Correspondence (240 items; 1910-1924) consists primarily of letters written by President Harding (1865-1923), before and during his tenure as a U.S. senator, to his paramour Carrie Fulton Phillips (1873-1960), wife of a Marion, Ohio, store owner. Also included are drafts and notes for correspondence written by Phillips during her approximately fifteen-year relationship with Harding, as well as a handful of other related items.
Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman Papers
The Thomas Biggs Harned Collection of Walt Whitman Papers consists of approximately 3,000 items (4,126 images) spanning the period 1842-1937, with most of the items dated from 1855, when Whitman first published the poem Leaves of Grass, to his death at age seventy-three in 1892. Harned, an attorney and one of Whitman’s three literary executors, donated his collection to the Library of Congress in 1918. It consists of correspondence, poetry and prose manuscripts, notes and notebooks, proofs and offprints, printed matter, and miscellaneous items.
William Henry Harrison Papers
The William Henry Harrison Papers contains approximately 1,000 items dating from 1734 to 1939, with the bulk dated from 1812 to 1841. Harrison(1773-1841), an army officer, representative, and senator from Ohio, served as the ninth president of the United States. His collection includes a letterbook, correspondence, and military papers stemming mostly from his military and political career in the Northwest Territory, his service in Indian wars and the War of 1812, his time as territorial governor of Indiana Territory (1800-1812), and his role as Whig Party candidate in the unsuccessful 1836 presidential bid and the successful 1840 election, the latter leading to his abbreviated presidential term, cut short by his death one month after his inauguration.
Joseph Holt Papers
The papers of commissioner of patents, United States postmaster general, secretary of war, judge advocate general of the United States Army, and lawyer Joseph Holt (1807-1894) consists of 20,000 items in 118 containers and three oversize folders. The material spans the years 1797-1917, with the bulk concentrated in the period 1859-1889. The collection consists principally of correspondence supplemented by diaries, ledgers, account books, bills and receipts, briefs and other legal papers, newspaper clippings, speeches, photographs, and printed matter.
Jedediah Hotchkiss Papers
The papers of educator, Confederate cartographer and topographical engineer Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899) span the years 1835-1908, with the bulk of the material dating from 1875 to 1898. They consist of approximately 20,000 items, most digitally scanned from 61 microfilm reels, although some account books and other financial records of Sara Anne Comfort Hotchkiss, which had never been microfilmed, were digitized from the originals. The papers reflect Jedediah Hotchkiss’s varied activities as a student, geologist, lecturer, school teacher, engineer, soldier, and historian.
Zora Neale Hurston Plays at the Library of Congress
A selection of ten plays written by Hurston (1891-1960), author,
anthropologist, and folklorist. Deposited in the United States
Copyright Office between 1925 and 1944, most of the plays remained
unpublished and unproduced until they were rediscovered in the
Copyright Deposit Drama Collection in 1997. The plays reflect Hurston's
life experience, travels, and research, especially her study of
folklore in the African-American South. Totaling 1,068 hundred
images, the scripts are housed in the Library's Manuscript, Music,
and Rare Books and Special Collections Divisions.
Andrew Jackson Papers
The Andrew Jackson Papers is one of twenty-three presidential collections in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The Jackson archival collection contains more than 26,000 items dating from 1767 to 1874. Included are memoranda, journals, speeches, military records, land deeds, and miscellaneous printed matter, as well as correspondence reflecting Jackson’s personal life and career as a politician, military officer, president, slave holder and property owner.
Thomas Jefferson Papers at the Library of Congress
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 collection is organized into ten series
or groupings, ranging in date from 1606 to 1827 and documents the
broad range of Jefferson's intellectual and political interests.
of Delegates to Congress
The twenty-six volumes of the Letters of Delegates to Congress,
1774-1789 aims to make available all the documents written
by delegates that bear directly upon their work during their years
of actual service in the First and Second Continental Congresses,
1774-1789. Although letters from delegates comprise the preponderance
of the entries, there are many diaries, public papers, essays,
and other documents. This work builds on an earlier eight-volume
edition of Letters of Members of the Continental Congress edited
by Edmund C. Burnett.
Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress
The papers of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), lawyer, representative from Illinois, and sixteenth president of the United States, contain approximately 40,550 documents dating from 1774 to 1948, although most of the collection spans from the 1850s through Lincoln’s presidency (1861-1865). Roughly half of the collection, more than 20,000 documents, comprising 62,000 images, as well as transcriptions of approximately 10,000 documents, is online. Included on this website in their entirety are Series 1-3 of the Lincoln Papers and the original materials in Series 4.
Lewis H. Machen Family Papers
The Gresham family material in the Lewis H. Machen Family Papers consists of seven diaries kept by Georgia teenager LeRoy Wiley Gresham (1847-1865) during the Civil War, and approximately 550 items of correspondence, primarily letters exchanged by members his family’s inner circle. Among the principal figures represented, all from Macon, Georgia, are John Jones Gresham, an attorney, judge, and plantation owner; his wife Mary Baxter Gresham; and their children, Thomas, LeRoy, and Minnie. Following Minnie's marriage to Arthur Machen in 1873, and for the years of her residence in Baltimore, Maryland, the papers consist largely of letters she received from her husband, family, and friends.
James Madison Papers
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. They document the life of the man who came
to be known as the "Father of the Constitution" through
correspondence, personal notes, drafts of letters and legislation,
an autobiography, legal and financial documents, and miscellaneous
manuscripts. The collection is organized into six series dating
from 1723 to 1836.
Betty Herndon Maury Maury Diary
The papers of diarist Betty Herndon Maury Maury (1835-1903) consist of a diary kept by Maury from June 3, 1861, to February 18, 1863. Maury wrote the diary primarily in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and it contains detailed comments on the progress of the American Civil War, especially in the local area; contributions by women to the Confederate war effort; hardships suffered by Confederate soldiers; and military activities of Betty Maury's father, naval officer and oceanographer Matthew Fontaine Maury (1806-1873), her cousin, Dabney Herndon Maury (1822-1900), and other members of the Maury family
George McCully Journal
Manuscript copy of a journal (45 pages) kept by McCully pertaining to his journey (1783 June-July) from Pittsburgh, Pa., to Detroit, Mich., on an expedition headed by Ephraim Douglass to inform the Indians of that region that the Treaty of Paris would soon be signed. McCully documents meetings at "Delaware Town," a Delaware Indian settlement on the Sandusky River, Ohio, with Delaware chief Captain Pipe (also known as Hopocan or Kageshquanohel) as well as with members of the Shawnee and Wyandot tribes, captives living among the Indians, and Indian traders.
Meeting of Frontiers
Meeting of Frontiers is a bilingual, multimedia English-Russian digital library that tells the story of the American exploration and settlement of the West, the parallel exploration and settlement of Siberia and the Russian Far East, and the meeting of the Russian-American frontier in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest.
Patsy T. Mink Papers
In 2007, the Manuscript Division celebrated the completion of a 3½-year project to process the rich and voluminous papers of former Hawaii representative and Title IX advocate Patsy T. Mink (1927-2002), which had been donated to the Library in 2003 by Mink’s husband and daughter. Congresswoman Mink was a vigorous and tireless champion of women's rights, an early and vocal opponent to the Vietnam War, and a leader on issues involving education, the environment, welfare, and civil rights. With her election in 1964, Mink became the first woman of color and the first Asian American woman to serve in Congress.
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. Monroe (1758–1831) was the fifth president of the United States, and one of 23 presidents whose papers are at the Library of Congress. Monroe's papers document his presidency and also his prior careers as secretary of state, secretary of war, delegate to the United States Continental Congress, diplomat, and governor of Virginia.
F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress
This online presentation comprises about 6,500 items, or approximately
50,000 images, that document Morse's invention of the electromagnetic
telegraph, his participation in the development of telegraph systems
in the United States and abroad, his career as a painter, his family
life, his travels, and his interest in early photography, religion,
and the nativist movement. Included in the collection are correspondence,
letterbooks, diaries, scrapbooks, printed matter, maps, drawings,
and other miscellaneous materials. The collection includes the
original paper tape containing the first telegraph message, "What
hath God wrought?," sent on May 24, 1844.
Daniel P. Moynihan Papers at the Library of Congess
An overview of the papers of educator, politician, sociologist and diplomat Daniel atrick Moynihan (1927-2003). Moynihan is best known as a U.S. senator from the state of New York; he began his senatorial career in 1977 and served as a Democratic Party leader in Congress until he left Capitol Hill in January 2001. At well over a million items, the Moynihan collection in the Manuscript Division is one of the largest manuscript collections of personal papers at the Library of Congress.
Rosa Parks Papers
The papers of Rosa Parks (1913-2005) span the years 1866-2006, with the bulk of the material dating from 1955 to 2000. The collection contains approximately 7,500 items in the Manuscript Division, as well as 2,500 photographs in the Prints and Photographs Division. The collection documents many aspects of Parks's private life and public activism on behalf of civil rights for African Americans
George S. Patton Papers: Diaries
The diaries of U.S. army officer George S. Patton (1885-1945) are part of a larger collection of Patton papers available for research use onsite in the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress. The entire collection spans the years 1807-1979, with the bulk of the papers concentrated from 1904 to 1945. The diaries, 1910-1945, digitized for this online presentation, illustrate Patton's activities during the Mexican Punitive Expedition, World War I, and World War II. The volumes, particularly from 1942 to 1945, document Patton's daily activities and observations and reveal his candor about himself, personally and professionally.
John J. Pershing Papers
The diaries, notebooks, and address books of John Joseph Pershing (1860-1948), U.S. army officer and commander-in-chief of the American Expeditionary Forces in World War I, are part of a larger collection of Pershing papers available for research use onsite in the Manuscript Reading Room of the Library of Congress. The entire collection spans the years 1882-1971, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1904-1948. It consists of correspondence, diaries, notebooks, speeches, statements, writings, orders, maps, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, picture albums, posters, photographs, printed matter, and memorabilia.
The Phillips/Mathée Collection spans the years 1913-2014, but only one item is dated later than 1972. The collection is a companion to the Warren G. Harding-Carrie Fulton Phillips Correspondence, also held by the Manuscript Division. The papers center on Isabelle Phillips Mathée, daughter of Carrie Fulton Phillips, the paramour of Warren G. Harding, and Isabelle's husband, William Helmuth Mathée. Included are photographs of Isabelle and her mother, Carrie, letters from President Harding to William Helmuth Mathée, and correspondence, legal papers, and news clippings concerning the discovery in 1964 of Harding's correspondence with Carrie Phillips and the subsequent legal proceedings. The final folder contains a statement from the four grandsons of Isabelle and William Mathée conveying their thoughts about these papers and the Warren G. Harding-Carrie Fulton Phillips Correspondence.
Franklin Pierce Papers
The papers of Franklin Pierce (1804-1869), army officer, representative and senator from New Hampshire, and fourteenth president of the United States, contain approximately 2,350 items dating from 1820 to 1869. They include correspondence, a photostatic copy of a diary kept by Pierce while serving in the Mexican War, drafts of Pierce’s messages to Congress, and an engraved portrait. Pierce’s correspondence relates chiefly to his service in the Mexican War, public affairs, and national politics.
James K. Polk Papers
The papers of James K. Polk (1795-1849), governor of Tennessee, representative from Tennessee, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and eleventh president of the United States, contain approximately 20,500 items dating from 1775 to 1891, with the bulk falling in the period 1830-1849. The collection includes correspondence, presidential letterbooks, diaries, speeches and messages, account and memorandum books, family papers, financial and legal records, printed matter, portraits, and other papers relating chiefly to Polk’s political career in Tennessee and on the national level.
Declarations of Admiration and Friendship for the United States
A presentation of the collection
of 111 volumes compiled in Poland in 1926 and delivered to President
Calvin Coolidge at the White House to honor the 150th anniversary
of the Declaration of Independence. Richly illustrated with original
works by prominent Polish graphic artists, the collection includes
the greetings and signatures of national, provincial, and local
government officials, representatives of religious, social, business,
academic, and military institutions, and approximately 5 ½ million
school children. This searchable online presentation is a complete
facsimile of the six oversized presentation volumes and the seven
volumes of secondary school signatures.
Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights,
2007 marks the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's rookie season
for the Brooklyn Dodgers. When he stepped onto Ebbets field on
April 15th, 1947, Robinson became the first African American in
the twentieth century to play baseball in the major leagues --
breaking the "color line," a segregation practice dating
to the nineteenth century. Jackie Robinson was an extremely talented
multi-sport athlete and a courageous man who played an active role
in civil rights. This presentation was created to commemorate his
achievements and describe some aspects of the color line's development
and the Negro Leagues. Materials that tell his story, and the history
of baseball in general, are located throughout the Library of Congress.
in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project,
Contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500
black-and-white photographs of former slaves. These narratives
were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers' Project
of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) and assembled and microfilmed
in 1941 as the seventeen-volume Slave Narratives: A Folk History
of Slavery in the United States from Interviews with Former Slaves.
This online collection is a joint presentation of the Manuscript
and Prints and Photographs Divisions of theLibrary of Congress
and includes more than 200 photographs from the Prints and Photographs
Division that are now made available to the public for the first
Charles Wellington Reed Papers, 1776-1926
The papers of Civil War soldier and artist Charles Wellington Reed (1841-1926) span the years 1776-1926, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1862-1865, when he served with the Ninth Independent Battery, Massachusetts Light Artillery. The collection includes approximately seven hundred sketches previously bound in two volumes and correspondence relating primarily to the Civil War. Other items consist of articles, citations and military papers, clippings, a diary, maps, Reed’s Medals of Honor, photographs, and printed matter. The material is arranged alphabetically by type of material.
Civil War Soldier in the Wild Cat Regiment: Selections from
the Tilton C. Reynolds Papers
Documents the Civil War experience of Captain Tilton C. Reynolds,
a member of the 105th Regiment of Pennsylvania Volunteers. Comprising
164 library items, or 359 digital images, this online presentation
includes correspondence, photographs, and other materials dating
between 1861 and 1865. The letters feature details of the regiment's
movements, accounts of military engagements, and descriptions of
the daily life of soldiers and their views of the war. Forty-six
of the letters are also made available in transcription.
Branch Rickey Papers
The approximately 1,750 baseball scouting reports from the 1950s and 1960s presented here are part of the papers of Branch Rickey (1881-1965), best known as the executive who broke Major League Baseball's color line by signing Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers roster in 1947. The scouting reports, which are located in a series of baseball files in the Rickey collection, were compiled between 1951 and 1964. They are mostly concentrated in the years 1951-1956 and 1962-1963, while Rickey was associated, respectively, with the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Cardinals.
Philip Henry Sheridan Papers
The papers of army officer Philip Henry Sheridan (1831-1888) span the years 1853-1896, with the bulk of the material originating between 1862 and 1887. They consist of approximately 18,000 items digitally reproduced from 104 microfilm reels. Relating chiefly to the Civil War, Reconstruction, Mexican border disputes, Indian wars, and military administration, the collection includes correspondence, reports, orders, memorabilia, scrapbooks, commissions, financial records, and speeches.
William T. Sherman Papers
The papers of General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) span the years 1810-1897, with the bulk of the material originating between 1848 and 1891. They consist of approximately 18,000 items, most digitally scanned from 51 microfilm reels, although some correspondence and other materials in the Addition series which had never been microfilmed were digitized from the originals. The collection consists of correspondence, a volume of recollections during and after the Mexican War, military documents, printed matter, memorabilia, and manuscripts of Sherman’s Memoirs.
Margaret Bayard Smith Papers
The papers of Margaret Bayard Smith (1778-1844), author and leader in Washington, D.C., social and political circles during the first decades of the nineteenth century, span the years 1789-1874, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1796-1840. They include family and general correspondence, diaries, journals, and commonplace books. Most of the papers consist of family correspondence between Smith and her sisters Jane Bayard Kirkpatrick and Maria Bayard Boyd, and her husband, Samuel Harrison Smith (1772-1845), editor of the Jeffersonian National Intelligencer, a banker, and Treasury Department official.
William Speiden Journals
As purser’s clerk aboard the U.S. steam frigate Mississippi, William Speiden, Jr., (1835-1920) created a two-volume journal dating from 1852 to 1855 documenting the U.S. Naval Expedition to the China Seas and Japan under the command of Commodore Matthew C. Perry. The journals give account of shipboard life, diplomacy, and travel as well as ports of call in a myriad of international locations during the global journey of the Mississippi, and are richly illustrated.
Edward McMasters Stanton Papers
The papers of lawyer and Secretary of War Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814-1869) span the years 1818-1921, with the bulk of the material originating between 1862 and 1870. They consist of approximately 7,650 items, most digitally scanned from 14 microfilm reels. The papers focus chiefly on Stanton's tenure as secretary of war under presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson and stress his role in the Union victory over the Confederacy and the first phase of Reconstruction. The collection consists of correspondence, letterbooks, a draft of the annual report of the secretary of war for 1863, and the March 1862 proceedings of the War Board. Interspersed among the bound correspondence, which makes up most of the collection, are battle maps, reports, charts, and printed matter. The papers are arranged in six series.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers
The papers of suffragist, reformer, and feminist theorist Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902) cover the years 1814 to 1946, with most of the material concentrated between 1840 and 1902. Consisting of approximately 1,000 items (4,164 images), reproduced on five reels of recently digitized microfilm, the collection contains correspondence, speeches, articles, drafts of books, scrapbooks, and printed matter relating to Stanton and the woman's rights movement. Documented are her efforts on behalf of women's legal status and women's suffrage, the abolition of slavery, rights for African Americans following the Civil War, temperance, and other nineteenth-century social reform movements.
Alexander Hamilton Stephens Papers
The papers of Alexander Hamilton Stephens (1812-1883), lawyer, journalist, governor of Georgia, member of both houses of the United States Congress, and vice president of the Confederate States of America, span the years 1784-1886, with the bulk of the material concentrated in the period 1850-1883. The collection consists primarily of correspondence, supplemented by an autobiography and journal and miscellaneous memoranda, legal documents, and clippings. The papers are organized in three series: General Correspondence, Letters from Servants, and Autobiography and Journal.
Thaddeus Stevens Papers
The papers of lawyer and United States representative from Pennsylvania Thaddeus Stevens (1792-1868) consist principally of correspondence supplemented by speeches, legal, business, and financial records, biographical material, printed matter, and other papers relating chiefly to Stevens's service in the U.S. Congress and to family and business affairs. The collection materials document the involvement of Thaddeus Stevens in Pennsylvania state politics and national politics, the anti-Masonic movement, and the Whig and Republican Parties. The largest portion of the correspondence centers on issues surrounding the Civil War and its aftermath.
during the Civil War: The Diary of Horatio Nelson Taft, 1861-1865
Three manuscript volumes, totaling 1,240 digital images, that document
daily life in Washington, D. C., through the eyes of Horatio Nelson
Taft (1806-1888), an examiner for the U. S. Patent Office. Now
located in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress,
the diary details events in Washington during the Civil War years
including Taft's connection with Abraham Lincoln and his family.
Of special interest is Taft's description of Lincoln's assassination,
based on the accounts of his friends and his son, who was one of
the attending physicians at Ford's Theatre the night Lincoln was
shot, on April 14, 1865. Transcriptions for all three volumes have
been made by Library of Congress staff and are available online
along with the digital images.
Zachary Taylor Papers
The Zachary Taylor Papers, one of twenty-three presidential collections in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, contains approximately 650 items dating from 1814 to 1931, with the bulk from 1840 to 1861. The collection is made up primarily of general correspondence and family papers of Taylor (1784-1850), with some autobiographical material, business and military records, printed documents, engraved printed portraits, and other miscellany relating chiefly to his presidency (1849-1850); his service as a U.S. Army officer, especially in the 2nd Seminole Indian War; management of his plantations; and settlement of his estate.
Gilbert Thompson Journal
Journal (1861-1864) of Thompson's Civil War experiences in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., while serving as a topographical engineer in the Engineer Battalion, U.S. Army of the Potomac. Includes later reminiscences; description of bridges, armaments, and firearms; and sketches and photographs of army officers and battle sites. Includes correspondence, laid in, of Nathaniel Prentiss Banks.
Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton Papers
The seven volumes of diaries and notebooks, 1793-1861, of Anna Maria Brodeau Thornton (ca.1775-1865) document her position at the center of a Washington, D.C., social circle that included George and Martha Washington, James and Dolley Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Margaret Bayard Smith, and the cabinet members, congressmen, and diplomats who constituted the city's entwined social and political worlds. Thornton was the daughter of Ann Brodeau, who emigrated from England in 1775 with the help of Benjamin Franklin and established a successful school in Philadelphia.
John Tyler Papers
The John Tyler Papers contain more than 1,400 items dating from 1691 to 1918, most of which fall between 1757 and 1918. The collection is made up primarily of correspondence, including letters and copies of letters to or from Tyler (1790-1862), a governor and U.S. representative and senator from Virginia, who served as vice president under William Henry Harrison before becoming the tenth president of the United States upon Harrison’s death in 1841.
Martin Van Buren Papers
The Martin Van Buren Papers contain more than 6,000 items dating from 1787 to circa 1910. The bulk of the material dates from the 1820s, when Van Buren (1782-1862) was a U.S. senator from New York, through his service as secretary of state and vice president in the Andrew Jackson administrations (1829-1837), to his own presidency (1837-1841) and through the decade thereafter when he made unsuccessful bids to return to the presidency with the Democratic and Free Soil parties.
E. B. Washburne Papers
The papers of United States representative from Illinois, diplomat, lawyer, and historian E. B. (Elihu Benjamin) Washburne (1816-1887) consist of 37,000 items in 144 containers. The material spans the years 1829-1915, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1852 to 1882. Bound volumes of letters received by Washburne constitute the largest part of the collection and relate to Washburne's career as a member of Congress (1853-1869) and as U.S. minister to France (1869-1877).
Washington Papers at the Library of Congress
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. Document types in the collection as a whole
include correspondence, letterbooks, commonplace books, diaries,
journals, financial account books, military records, reports, and
notes accumulated by Washington from 1741 through 1799. The collection
is organized into nine Series.
Walt Whitman Papers (Miscellaneous Manuscript Collection)
This small collection of papers (about 150 items; 1,200 images) of poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) spans the years 1837-1957 with the bulk concentrated in the period 1840-1891. Included are examples of the poet’s original correspondence and literary manuscripts, photocopies and transcripts of similar Whitman material, and printed matter and miscellaneous items relating to Whitman. It includes some of Whitman's earliest known correspondence, written to Abraham P. Leech, and a printed copy of Whitman's poem O Captain! My Captain! containing the poet's handwritten corrections.
Walt Whitman Papers in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection
The papers of poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892) in the Charles E. Feinberg Collection consist of approximately 28,000 items spanning from 1763 to 1985. The bulk of the items date from the 1840s through Whitman's death in 1892, and into the twentieth century. The collection of correspondence, literary manuscripts, books, proofs, and associated items represent periods of Whitman's life from his early time living in New York, middle-age in Washington, D.C., and the last phase of his life in Camden, New Jersey.
Woodrow Wilson Papers
The papers of Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924), scholar, president of Princeton University, governor of New Jersey, and president of the United States (1913-1921), consist of approximately 280,000 documents, comprising approximately 620,000 images, most of which were digitized from 540 reels of previously produced microfilm. Held in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, these papers constitute the largest collection of original Wilson documents in the world. The collection contains personal, family, and official correspondence, White House executive office files, drafts and proofs of books, articles, speeches, academic lectures, scrapbooks, shorthand notes, and memorabilia dating from 1786 to 1957 with the bulk of material falling in the period between 1876 and 1924.
of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's
The National Woman’s Party, representing the militant wing
of the suffrage movement, utilized open public demonstrations to
gain popular attention for the right of women to vote in the United
States. Their picketing, pageants, parades, and demonstrations—as
well as their subsequent arrests, imprisonment, and hunger strikes—were
successful in spurring public discussion and winning publicity
for the suffrage cause. These photographs include both images that
depict this broad range of tactics as well as individual portraits
of organization leaders and members. They document the National
Woman’s Party’s push for ratification of the 19th Amendment
as well as its later campaign for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment.
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. Included are the papers of presidents, cabinet ministers,
members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, military officers
and diplomats, reformers and political activists, artists and writers,
scientists and inventors, and other prominent Americans whose lives
reflect our country's evolution. Most of the selected items fall
within one of eight major themes or categories which reflect the
division's strengths. Each of these themes is the focus of a separate
essay containing links to digital reproductions of selected documents.
Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers at the Library of Congress
The online presentation of The Wilbur and Orville Wright Papers
at the Library of Congress, comprising about 10,121 library items
or approximately 49,084 digital images, documents the lives of
Wilbur and Orville Wright and highlights their pioneering work
which led to the world's first powered, controlled and sustained
flight. Included in the collection are correspondence, diaries
and notebooks, scrapbooks, drawings, printed matter, and other
documents, as well as the Wrights' collection of glass-plate photographic
negatives. This online presentation includes the famous glass-plate
negative of the "First Flight" at Kitty Hawk on December
17, 1903, as well as diaries and letters in which Wilbur and Orville
Wright recount their work that led to that day.