Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

American History 1493-1945

This subscription-based database provides immediate access to images of more than 50,000 documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection and is available at schools, libraries, and colleges around the world. American History, 1493-1945 is designed for teaching and independent research. More than 100 universities and institutions—including Harvard University, Yale University, and the Library of Congress—have acquired a subscription to the database for their students and researchers.

Ask for it at your library.

How to Use American History, 1493-1945