Records and photographs of the American Colonization Society
Collection digitized? Generally, no. Daguerreotypes
from the collection are available in the Prints
and Photographs Online Catalog. (The same images are presented
on the Library of Congress American
Memory site.) A few selected images are
included here to give a sample of the collection.
The American Colonization Society, organized in 1817 to resettle
African Americans in West Africa, presented its records to
the Library of Congress in 1913, 1964, and 1965.
Manuscript Division Holdings
While spanning the period 1792 to 1964, the majority of the society's
correspondence, reports, and financial and business papers date
from the years 1823 to 1912. Correspondence covers such subjects
as administrative matters, the status of slaves and freedman
in antebellum America, and the society's role in founding and
colonizing Liberia and supporting Liberian education. Correspondents
include Thomas Buchanan, Ralph R. Gurley, John H. B. Latrobe,
J. W. Lugenbeel, William McLain, Anson Greene Phelps, and Joseph
Jenkins Roberts. The Manuscript
Division has described the 190,000 item collection in a register.
The records have been microfilmed.
Prints and Photographs Division Holdings
Approximately 550 photographs, photomechanical prints, drawings,
and watercolors in the Prints
and Photographs Division depict nineteenth-century Liberian political
figures, city views, vernacular architecture, and the life of the
indigenous West Africans. The images have been grouped by subject
matter, and these groups are listed in the Divisional card catalog.
Included are daguerreotype portraits of well-known Liberians, such
as the first president of Liberia, Joseph Jenkins Roberts. All of
the daguerreotypes can be found in the Prints
and Photographs Online Catalog (original daguerreotypes are served
by appointment only). Selected other images for which copy photography
has been requested can also be searched in the online catalog.
Note: Information for this entry was compiled
in the late 1970's for inclusion in: Special Collections
in the Library of Congress: A Selective Guide. Compiled
by Annette Melville. Washington, D.C.: Library of Congress, 1980.
The entry was revised in 1998.
U.S. Library of Congress. Reference Department. Guide to
the Special Collections of Prints & Photographs in the Library
of Congress (Washington: 1955. NE53.W3A52), compiled by
Paul Vanderbilt, no. 14.
The National Union Catalog of Manuscript Collections. Washington,
Library of Congress, 1972, 69-2026.