The Library of Congress
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Selected Documents Celebrating the Manuscript Division's First 100 Years

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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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. A detailed description accompanies each document, and additional information about the parent collections may be obtained by following links to catalog records and finding aids.

The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.

The Presidency | Congress, Law, and Politics | Military Affairs | Diplomacy and Foreign Policy | Arts and Literature | Science, Medicine, Exploration, and Invention | African-American History and Culture | Women's History | Miscellany
Special Presentation:
Collecting, Preserving, and Researching History: A Peek into the Library of Congress Manuscript Division

Understanding the Collection

About the Selections

Collection Connections

Working with the Collection

How to Order Photographic Reproductions

Copyright and Other Restrictions


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