The Library established the American Memory program in the 1990s to digitize the Library’s Americana collections. Its contents stretch across many divisions of the Library. The Manuscript Division maintains on its home page a list of American Memory websites with Manuscript Division material. Among the most significant collections in American Memory are the Manuscript Division’s holdings of presidential papers. Thus far, the papers of four presidents (George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Abraham Lincoln) have been digitized and more are underway. Each of these websites contains time lines, bibliographies, and essays that help to provide context for the papers. Portions of these collections are also accompanied by transcriptions.
Many online exhibitions produced by the Library, most of which were originally displayed in one of the Library’s buildings, contain Manuscript Division material. The Manuscript Division maintains on its home page a list of Virtual Exhibits in which Manuscript Division collections are represented.
Words and Deeds in American History
In honor of the Manuscript Division's centennial, its staff selected for online display approximately ninety representative documents spanning from the fifteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The display is called Words and Deeds in American History. Included are the papers of presidents, cabinet ministers, members of Congress, Supreme Court justices, military officers and diplomats, Native Americans, reformers and political activists, artists and writers, scientists and inventors, and other prominent Americans whose lives reflect our country's evolution. A short explanatory essay accompanies each document.
World Digital Library
The World Digital Library is a joint project of UNESCO, the Library of Congress, and other libraries and cultural institutions from around the world. Digital content relating to American history from Manuscript Division holdings have been included in the World Digital Library. See, for example, the journal of Joseph Ingraham (1762-1800), a sea captain who in 1790-1792 sailed from Boston to China by way of Cape Horn, the Marquesas, Hawaii, and Nootka Sound in the ship Hope.
A Journey to the Northwest Frontier in 1783: The Journal of George McCully
What it would have been like to travel across the eighteenth-century American landscape depicted by Abel Buell's map?
Counting Sheep: Unspinning the Mystery of the 1787 “Massachusetts Sheep Census” (PDF, 6.62MB)
What can a document mysteriously titled the “Massachusetts Sheep Census” tell students about the lives of ordinary people in a New England town in 1787, the year the federal Constitution was created?
George Washington’s School Copybooks, circa 1745-1747
What do the schoolbooks George Washington used as a boy
tell us about his education in eighteenth-century