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.

Post-Civil War America, 1865-1900

A variety of materials demonstrates the rise and fall of civil rights for African Americans during the latter half of the nineteenth century, including constitutional amendments, sharecropper contracts, and discussions of segregation and voting rights. Other items from this time period document relations with American Indians and the Spanish-American War.

Selected searches in the Collection’s catalog