A field trip to the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History gives students the unique opportunity to learn history from real documents, up close with no display cases! This exciting experience creates tangible links to the past as students connect with original materials.
Materials from the Gilder Lehrman Collection are exhibited at the New-York Historical Society and at other prominent institutions around the country. Please visit our Museum Exhibitions page for more details.
Remote Access for University and Research Libraries
A comprehensive research database of the Collection with images is available by subscription through Adam Matthew: Primary Sources for Teaching and Research.
Conducting Research at the Gilder Lehrman Collection
For the preservation of the documents and to help expedite your research, researchers can access our comprehensive research database American History, 1493-1945, at the New-York Historical Society. This database contains high-resolution images of more than 60,000 documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection. It is available in the New-York Historical Society’s Patricia D. Klingenstein Library, Tuesday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4:45 p.m.
Viewing Original Documents
If your research materials are not part of the American History, 1493-1945 database, please contact [email protected] for additional information and to find out about making an appointment to view the original materials. Researchers may view materials from the Gilder Lehrman Collection by appointment only using our online Appointment Request Form. Research appointments will be scheduled Tuesday–Thursday, 10:00 a.m–4:00 p.m. and must begin no later than 2:00 p.m. We do not currently accept applications or requests by fax or email. You may save a draft of the form while you search our online catalog and come back to it at any time prior to submission to add additional items to your request.
What you will need to bring to your appointment
- A signed copy of our Collection Use Policy
- A valid government-issued photo ID
- Some materials may require a reference letter specifically addressed to the Gilder Lehrman Collection from a source qualified to evaluate the applicant’s use of rare materials. The archivist will contact you in advance if this applies to you.
Keep in mind
- Use of the Collection is by appointment only
- Reading Room hours are Tuesday–Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Appointments must begin no later than 2:00 p.m.
- Patrons are encouraged to submit their requests at least two weeks prior to their requested visit. Appointments with less than two days’ notice will be denied.
- We reserve the right to use photocopies or other reproductions in place of the originals.
- For reasons of security, preservation of the Collection, and the well being of other readers, we reserve the right to withdraw Collection-use privileges at any time.
- The use of pens, highlighters, markers, or post-it notes is strictly prohibited in the reading room. The archivist will supply pencils and paper if needed.
- Researchers are required to consult digital editions, including national databases as available, unless it is determined that there is a compelling reason to consult the originals.
Closures and Limited Hours
Occasionally the Collection may close due to special events at the Klingenstein Library. The archivist will contact you if there is any change to your scheduled visit.
For more assistance, please contact [email protected].