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.

Spotlights on Primary Sources

Each of the Spotlights from our Collection provides explanatory text, a transcript, and an image of the featured document. Questions for classroom discussion are available to K–12 teachers.

Below are some highlights from the Collection.

Click here to see all Spotlights on Primary Sources