Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 75,000 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.

Inside the Vault Archive

April 3, 2020: Highlights from the Collection

April 17, 2020: Two Generals: George Washington and Robert E. Lee

May 1, 2020: Founding Era Propaganda

May 15, 2020: Ulysses S. Grant

May 29, 2020: Jackie Robinson

June 12, 2020: The Schuyler Sisters

June 26, 2020: July Anniversaries

July 10, 2020: The Election of 1800

July 24, 2020: “Your future . . . rests in your hands!”

August 7, 2020: George Washington and Slavery

August 21, 2020: Eleanor Roosevelt, “Four Basic Rights,” and Desegregation

September 3, 2020: The Emancipation Proclamation and Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Advice to High School Students

September 17, 2020: Constitution Day

October 1, 2020: John Brown

October 15, 2020: Women’s Suffrage

October 29, 2020: Black Patriots of the American Revolution

November 12, 2020: Abraham Lincoln

December 3, 2020: Pearl Harbor

December 17, 2020: America’s First First Lady: Martha Washington

January 7, 2021: George Washington’s Inauguration

January 21, 2021: Primary Sources about Enslaved People

February 4, 2021: The Lives and Works of Phillis Wheatley and Elizabeth Keckley

February 18, 2021: Frederick Douglass: Advocate for Equality

March 4, 2021: Lucy Knox: Loyalist’s Daughter, Patriot’s Wife, and Witness to the American Revolution

March 18, 2021: Civil War Diaries of William Woodlin, 8th USCT, & Cyrena Hammond

April 1, 2021: Benjamin Banneker

April 15, 2021: Occupation of Alcatraz

May 6, 2021: The Diary of World War I Nurse Ella Jane Osborn