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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.

Research

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, we are unable to accommodate any in-person research requests at this time. If you have questions about any of our documents, please contact reference@gilderlehrman.org.

Click here to search our online catalog. We have more than 70,000 records online, with 10,000 images immediately available.

For ideas on where to start your research, please visit our curated reference guides below.

Begin Your Online Research with our Reference Guides

American History, 1493-1945: This subscription-based database provides immediate access to images of more than 50,000 documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection and is available at schools, libraries, and colleges around the world.​