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.

Expansion & Reform, 1800-1860

The conflict over slavery, the growth of federal power, and the territorial expansion of the United States figure prominently in the Collection. Thousands of letters, documents, broadsides, and pamphlets focus on slavery and abolition. Other materials in this period cover a wide range of topics including the Bank of the United States, removal of American Indians from tribal lands, the Nullification Crisis, Jacksonian politics, settlement of the Mormons in Utah, the Mexican-American War, and Texas.

Selected Searches in the Collection’s catalog