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.

The New Nation, 1784–1800

These materials address the creation of the US Constitution from the failure of the Articles of Confederation through the controversial election of 1800 in both official records and personal correspondence. Documents also illustrate the turbulence of this era as the United States struggled to create a national identity.

Selected Searches in the Collection’s catalog