The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 20,000 documents dating from 1833 to 1916. Most of the approximately 20,000 items, however, are from the 1850s through Lincoln's presidential years, 1860-65. Treasures in this collection include Lincoln's draft of the Emancipation Proclamation, his March 4, 1865 draft of his second Inaugural Address, and his August 23, 1864 memorandum expressing his expectation of being defeated in the upcoming presidential election. The bulk of the Lincoln Papers consists of letters written to Lincoln by a wide variety of correspondents: friends, and legal and political associates from Lincoln's Springfield, Illinois days; national and regional political figures and reformers; and local people and organizations writing to their president.
In a hurry? Save or print these Collection Connections as a single file.
These online exhibits provide context and additional information about this collection.
These historical era(s) are best represented in the collection, although they may not be all-encompassing.
The Civil War and Reconstruction, 1850-1877
Related Collections and Exhibits
These collections and exhibits contain thematically-related primary and secondary sources. Also browse the Collection Finder for more related material on the American Memory Web site.
- African American Odyssey
- An American Time Capsule
- American Treasures of the Library of Congress
- Civil War Maps
- Civil War Photographs, 1861-1865
- From Slavery to Freedom, 1824-1909
- The Gettysburg Address
- Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets
- The Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana
- Words and Deeds in American History
Recommended additional sources of information
Specific guidance for searching this collection.
For help with general search strategies, see Finding Items in American Memory.