American Memory at the Library of Congress: 19th
[Dewey numbers: 973]

 


American Memory This is the front page to the "historical collections for the national digital library." Descriptions of some of the almost 100 collections from the Library of Congress now online are described below. Also check Future Collections for items in development.

The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920 - documents the historical formation and cultural foundations of the movement to conserve and protect America's natural heritage. The collection consists of 60 books and pamphlets, 140 Federal statutes and Congressional resolutions, 34 additional legislative documents, excerpts from the Congressional Globe and the Congressional Record, 360 Presidential proclamations, 170 prints and photographs, 2 historic manuscripts, and a two-part motion picture.

Selections from the National Women's Suffrage Association Collection, 1848-1921 - The NAWSA Collection consists of 167 books, pamphlets and other artifacts documenting the suffrage campaign. They are a subset of the Library's larger collection donated by Carrie Chapman Catt, longtime president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, in November of 1938. The collection includes works from the libraries of other members and officers of the organization including: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, Alice Stone Blackwell, Julia Ward Howe, Elizabeth Smith Miller, Mary A. Livermore.

America's First Look into the Camera: Daguerreotype Portraits and Views, 1942-1862 - The Library's daguerreotype collection consists of more than 650 photographs dating from 1839 to 1864. Portrait daguerreotypes produced by the Mathew Brady studio make up the major portion of the collection. The collection also includes early architectural views by John Plumbe, several Philadelphia street scenes, early portraits by pioneering daguerreotypist Robert Cornelius, and copies of painted portraits.

California as I Saw It": First Person Narratives of California's Early Years, 1849-1900 - consists of the full texts and illustrations of 190 works documenting the formative era of California's history through eyewitness accounts. The collection covers the dramatic decades between the Gold Rush and the turn of the twentieth century. It captures the pioneer experience; encounters between Anglo-Americans and the diverse peoples who had preceded them; the transformation of the land by mining, ranching, agriculture, and urban development; the often-turbulent growth of communities and cities; and California's emergence as both a state and a place of uniquely American dreams.

Touring Turn-of-the-Century America: Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company, 1880-1920  - This collection of photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company Collection includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photolithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States. The collection includes the work of a number of photographers, one of whom was the well known photographer William Henry Jackson. A small group within the larger collection includes about 900 Mammoth Plate Photographs taken by Jackson along several railroad lines in the United States and Mexico in the 1880s and 1890s. The group also includes views of California, Wyoming and the Canadian Rockies.

Poet at Work: Recovered Notebooks from the Thomas Biggs Harned Walt Whitman Collection - This collection offers access to the four Walt Whitman Notebooks and a cardboard butterfly that disappeared from the Library of Congress in 1942. They were returned on February 24, 1995.

American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920 - is a multimedia anthology selected from various Library of Congress holdings. This collection illustrates the vibrant and diverse forms of popular entertainment, especially vaudeville, that thrived from 1870-1920. Included are 334 English- and Yiddish-language playscripts, 146 theater playbills and programs, 61 motion pictures, 10 sound recordings and 143 photographs and 29 memorabilia items documenting the life and career of Harry Houdini. Groups of theater posters and additional sound recordings will be added to this anthology in the future.

African American Perspectives: Pamphlets from the Daniel A.P. Murray Collection, 1818=1907 - presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture, spanning almost one hundred years from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900. Among the authors represented are Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Benjamin W. Arnett, Alexander Crummel, and Emanuel Love.

Selected Civil War Photographs - contains 1,118 photographs. Most of the images were made under the supervision of Mathew B. Brady, and include scenes of military personnel, preparations for battle, and battle after-effects. The collection also includes portraits of both Confederate and Union officers, and a selection of enlisted men.

By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies - The Library of Congress has extensive resources for the study of the United States presidents and first ladies. Frequent requests for presidential portraits inspired Prints and Photographs Division staff to compile this ready reference aid of formal and informal pictures in the division's custody. The selected images include at least one likeness of each of the forty-one presidents and most of the first ladies. This presentation inaugurates a series of online illustrated reference aids that will appear under the running title "By Popular Demand".

Around the World in the 1890s: Photographs from the World's Tranportation Commision, 1894-1896 - contains nearly nine hundred images by American photographer William Henry Jackson. In addition to railroads, elephants, camels, horses, sleds and sleighs, sedan chairs, rickshaws, and other types of transportation, Jackson photographed city views, street and harbor scenes, landscapes, local inhabitants, and Commission members as they traveled through North Africa, Asia, Australia, and Oceania.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1873 - Beginning with the Continental Congress in 1774, America's national legislative bodies have kept records of their proceedings.
The records of the Continental Congress, the Constitutional Convention, and the United States Congress comprise a rich
documentary history of the construction of the nation, the development of the federal government, and its role in the national life.
These documents record American history in the words of those who built our government. Books on the law formed a major part of the holdings of the Library of Congress from its beginning. In 1832 Congress established the Law Library of Congress as a separate department of the Library. It houses one of the most complete collections of U.S. Congressional documents in their original format. In order to make these records more easily accessible to students, scholars, and interested citizens, A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation brings together online the records and acts of Congress from the Journals of the Continental Congress through The Congressional Globe, which ceased publication with the 42nd Congress in 1873.

Samuel F.B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress, 1793-1919 - The online presentation of The Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress 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 papers included date from 1793 to 1919, but most are from 1807 to 1872. The collection includes the original paper tape containing the first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought?," sent on May 24, 1844.



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