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.

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Museum Exhibitions

Items from the Gilder Lehrman Collection are exhibited at prominent museums across the country. See what is currently on display.

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Traveling Exhibitions

Our traveling exhibitions are offered for display at schools, libraries, and other sites in the continental United States. These informative, colorful exhibitions cover ten major topics in American history.

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Online Exhibitions

Our online exhibitions offer immersive experiences for students of all ages. Click to explore these illustrated, instructive displays, integrated with videos, interactive maps, and timelines.

America to 1620

The Columbian Exchange


The American Revolution, 1763-1783

African Americans in the US Military: From the Revolution to the World Wars

Alexander Hamilton and the Founding of the United States

Alexander Hamilton: Witness to the Founding Era

Battlelines: Letters from America’s Wars


The New Nation, 1783-1815

Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America

Hamilton’s New York: Lower Manhattan Walking Tour

“We the People”: Printings of the US Constitution from the Gilder Lehrman Collection

Lewis and Clark Expedition: Interactive Map

The War of 1812 in the West: An In-Depth Exploration


National Expansion & Reform, 1815-1860


Slave Resistance

Excerpts from American Antislavery Writings: Colonial Beginnings to Emancipation

Frederick Douglass from Slavery to Freedom: The Journey to New York City

Activist for Equality: Frederick Douglass at 200

The Dred Scott Decision and Its Bitter Legacy

Lincoln, Douglas, and Their Historic Debates

John Brown: The Abolitionist and His Legacy


Civil War & Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Civil War 150

Abraham Lincoln: A Man of His Time, A Man for All Times

Abraham Lincoln in His Own Words

African American Voting Rights

Lincoln Speaks: Words That Transformed a Nation

Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation

Wilberforce, Lincoln, and the Abolition of Slavery

Ulysses S. Grant: Civil War General and US President

The Fifteenth Amendment Celebrated: An In-Depth Exploration


Progressive Era to New Era, 1900-1929

African American Voting Rights

World War I and America


Great Depression & WWII, 1929-1945

The Manhattan Project

The Attack on Pearl Harbor: A Map-Based Exhibition


1945 to the Present

African American Voting Rights

Electing the President Timeline

Electing the President Exhibition

Freedom: A History of Us