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William Howard Taft: A Resource Guide

William H. Taft, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left
William H. Taft, head-and-shoulders portrait, facing left.
1 photographic print. 1908.
Prints & Photographs Division.
Reproduction Number:

Digital Collections

William H. Taft Papers

The papers of William Howard Taft (1857-1930), twenty-seventh president of the United States and tenth chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, consist of approximately 676,000 documents (785,977 images), which have been digitized from 658 reels of previously reproduced microfilm. Held in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division, these papers constitute the largest collection of original Taft documents in the world. The collection contains family papers, personal and official correspondence, presidential and judicial files, speeches and addresses, legal files and notebooks, business and estate papers, engagement calendars, guest lists, scrapbooks, clippings, printed matter, memorabilia, and photographs dating from 1784 to 1973, with the bulk of the material dated 1880-1930.

Taft’s papers thoroughly document his public service career, especially his presidential administration from 1909 to 1913. The materials address the major issues that confronted his presidency, including tariffs, federal income tax, international arbitration, antitrust enforcement, conservation, Republican party politics, U.S. investment in Latin America, and the construction of the Panama Canal. Other phases of his career are documented as well, including the years he served as U.S. solicitor general, U.S. Court of Appeals judge for the Sixth Circuit, governor general of the Philippines, secretary of war under Theodore Roosevelt, professor of constitutional law at Yale University, and chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court from 1921 to 1930. Taft’s chief justice files document his administration of the Supreme Court and federal court system, including his successful efforts to secure for the Supreme Court the right to control its own docket. The collection also contains substantial material on the Taft family and includes the papers of Taft’s father Alphonso Taft (1810-1891), who was a prominent lawyer, jurist, cabinet secretary, and diplomat.

Alexander Graham Bell Family Papers at the Library of Congress

This collection contains about 4,650 items consisting of 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. It includes three letters written by William Howard Taft to Alexander Graham Bell.

The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920

This collection 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. It includes more than eighty proclamations issued by President William Howard Taft.

The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

The Songs of America presentation allows you to explore American history as documented in the work of some of our country's greatest composers, poets, scholars, and performers. The collection contains a selection of presidential campaign songs, including "President Taft, He's All Right" from the 1912 election.

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. It includes a proclamation concerning copyright that was issued by Taft in 1910 and biographical sketches of Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, and Robert M. La Follette from the 1912 presidential election.

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times on Film

This presentation features 104 films that record events in Theodore Roosevelt's life from the Spanish-American War in 1898 to his death in 1919. It also contains a film of William Howard Taft arriving in Panama in 1910.

Theodore Roosevelt Papers

The papers of Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919), public official, author, decorated veteran of the Spanish-American War, governor of New York, and president of the United States (1901-1909), consist of approximately 276,000 documents. Consult the Index to the Theodore Roosevelt Papers to locate letters to and from William Howard Taft.

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

This collection contains approximately 400 items relating to presidential inaugurations, including Taft's inauguration in 1909.

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  December 29, 2020
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