Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 85,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World through the end of the twentieth century.

Reference, Rights & Reproductions


Research copies are PDFs of items from our Collection. PDFs cost $10 per item and are sent via email after your invoice is paid.

5 PDF copies per calendar year are provided for free to Affiliate School K–12 teachers and students. You can check your school’s Affiliate status here.

Research copies cannot be used for any print or publication purposes.

Please allow 2–4 weeks for your order to be processed. Orders are processed in the order in which they are received.

To order a research copy, please submit the following form:

Click here to order a research copy


Please consult our Fee Schedule if you are interested in publishing an image of an item from our Collection on a website, in a book, or in any other print or digital medium. When requesting publication rights, please allow 3–5 weeks for processing and invoicing. Permission requests are processed in the order in which they are received.

Click here to request publication rights


Some materials may be too fragile to be duplicated or digitized. We cannot guarantee that every item in our has been digitized for use in this service. 

All orders will be fulfilled electronically via email or Google Drive.

Upon receipt of your order, an itemized invoice will be sent to you. Depending on where you live, sales tax may apply. Nonprofit institutions must submit a sales tax exemption form to avoid paying sales tax.

Advance payment by check or credit card is required. All fees are non-refundable and subject to change without notice.

If paying by check, please include your invoice number on the check and mail it to: The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, 49 West 45th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10036.

Following receipt of payment, please allow us at least 2–4 weeks to complete your order if additional scanning is required. Large orders of more than 30 pages may take an additional 1–2 weeks. The exact turnaround time may vary and requests are processed in the order in which they are received.

International payments made by check must be sent in US dollars drawn from a US bank.

Copyright Notice

The Copyright Law of the United States (title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specific conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the order would involve violation of copyright law.