James A. Garfield Diary: “His Confidential Friend”
Although an assassin’s bullet shortened his presidential administration to just six months in 1881, James A. Garfield (1831-1881) left an impressive archive of his forty-nine years, including the twenty-one diaries (1848-1881) held in the James A. Garfield Papers at the Library of Congress. Garfield used his diary to record the challenges he faced as a self-made man, his activities, intellectual curiosity, accomplishments and defeats, family life, travels, and comments on the people, events, and society of his time. Garfield’s diary provides a sustained and intimate view into the rich inner life of one of America’s more remarkable, but lesser-known presidents.View Projects
Presidential Papers at the Library of Congress
Through diaries, family papers, official correspondence, letters from the public, reports, speeches and writings, financial records, photographs, drawings, printed ephemera, memorabilia, and other materials, the presidential collections document the public careers and private lives of the presidents, as well as the issues they confronted while serving as the nation’s chief executive. The presidents corresponded with a variety of people including public and elected officials, slaves and former slaves, political allies, ideological opponents, military leaders and foreign diplomats, as well as Americans citizens, and immigrants, on subjects ranging from routine requests for assistance, to responses to national and world tragedies, to negotiations to end wars, to the nature of American democracy itself.View Projects
You’ll encounter both ordinary and extraordinary people, documents, and historical moments in the presidential papers at the Library of Congress!
Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote
The struggle for women’s voting rights—considered the largest reform movement in American history—lasted more than seven decades, from 1848 to 1920. Determined women organized, lectured, petitioned, lobbied, paraded, picketed, and went to jail for daring to support suffrage. Explore the papers of leading suffragists such as Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Mary Church Terrell, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna E. Dickinson, Lucy Stone, and Alice Stone Blackwell.View Projects
Seers, Spiritualists, and the Spirit World: The experiments of Frederick Hockley
British Spiritualist, accountant, and Freemason, Frederick Hockley (1808-1885) is often credited with being a leading influencer of the nineteenth-century Occult Revival, though very little is actually known about him. These 11 notebooks, tucked away in Harry Houdini’s Library, and thought by many to be lost to history, describe the results of Hockley’s numerous experiments in reaching the beyond.View Projects
The Blackwells: An Extraordinary Family
Discover the extraordinary history of one family’s commitment to social reform movements such as abolition, women’s suffrage, and temperance. Blackwell family members include Lucy Stone and her daughter, Alice Stone Blackwell, who were both prominent in the women’s rights and women’s suffrage movements.View Projects
These papers are part of the “Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote” topical campaign, which brings together stories from people on the front lines of the largest reform movement in American history. Explore the long struggle for equality through the diaries, letters, and speeches of the men and women who fought for the right to vote and changed political history 100 years ago.
Mary Church Terrell: Advocate for African Americans and Women
Mary Church Terrell (1863-1954) educator, women's rights advocate, and civil rights activist, was the founding president of the National Association of Colored Women and, in 1909, a founder of the NAACP. Her papers are part of the “Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote” topical campaign, which brings together stories from women on the front lines of the largest reform movement in American history. Transcribing these pages will allow you to explore the long struggle for equality through the diaries, letters, and speeches of the women who fought for the right to vote and changed political history 100 years ago.View Projects
Rough Rider to Bull Moose: Letters to Theodore Roosevelt
President Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) was a prolific writer of books, articles, and especially letters, and received as much mail as he sent. His correspondents ranged from heads of states to average Americans, and covered a wide range of topics. Discover what Roosevelt and his correspondents had to say about the issues of their day, and help make the subjects addressed in what Roosevelt called his “great mass of papers” more accessible.View Projects
Herencia: Centuries of Spanish Legal Documents
Legal documents shed light on what societies and individuals value, and the struggles, hopes, and triumphs of people across the societal spectrum. You can transcribe documents written in Spanish, Latin, and Catalan between 1300 and 1800, and open the legal history of Spain and Spanish colonies to greater discovery. Help us bring this rare collection to life!View Projects
Los documentos jurídicos iluminan lo que la sociedades e individuos valoran y las batallas, esperanzas y triunfos de personas a través de todo el espectro social. Puedes transcribir documentos escritos en español, latín y catalán desde los años 1300 a los 1800 y dar entrada a la historia jurídica de España y de sus colonias para mayor descubrimiento. Ayúdanos a traer a la luz esta colección de materiales únicos.
Organizing for Women’s Suffrage: The NAWSA Records
In the 1890s, the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s influence reached across the country, contributing to suffrage victories in the western states. By the early twentieth century, new leaders, including Carrie Chapman Catt and Anna Howard Shaw, emerged and suffragists devised innovative tactics in the struggle for the right to vote, including suffrage parades and open-air meetings. Discover NAWSA's multifaceted history, including deep connections to the abolition and women's rights movements.View Projects
Clara Barton: "Angel of the Battlefield"
Nurse, educator, philanthropist, lecturer, and founder of the American Red Cross, Clara Barton (1821-1912) was one of the most prolific, active, and beloved women of her time. Discover how she achieved so much despite widespread prejudice against women.View Projects
The Library of Congress holds one of the largest collections of Civil War materials in the world. This topic draws together materials from a range of Campaigns that reveal the impact of this bloody period in American history.View Projects
2019 marked the 200th anniversary of Walt Whitman's birth and the poet remains at the center of cultural conversations today. Transcribe and review his poetry, letters, and other writings. Discover how he wrote and lived for yourself.View Projects
Check out this blog to learn more about the Whitman review challenge that helped us start this Campaign in 2019, and our ongoing work with the National Council of Teachers of English. Learn more here.
Elizabeth Cady Stanton Papers
Like her close collaborator Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), Elizabeth Cady Stanton is one of the best-known women in American history, principally because of her role in the women's suffrage campaign in the nineteenth century. Although most often identified as a suffragist, Stanton also advocated for women's emancipation and equality in many arenas—political, economic, religious, and social. Her papers are part of the “Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote” topical campaign, which brings together stories from women on the front lines of the largest reform movement in American history. Transcribing these pages will allow you to explore the long struggle for equality through the diaries, letters, and speeches of the women who fought for the right to vote and changed political history 100 years ago.View Projects
This campaign launched June 4, 2019 and completed June 15, 2020.
Letters to Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln led a busy life as a laborer, politician, lawyer, father, husband, and the first Republican President. Find out what occupied his mind by transcribing papers sent to him by friends, family, fellow lawyers and politicians, allies and adversaries, as well as his diverse constituents. Most of Lincoln's own papers have been transcribed, but these letters to him have not. Help us get a more complete picture of his life and times.View Projects
Susan B. Anthony Papers
With the possible exception of her close collaborator Elizabeth Cady Stanton, no woman is more associated with the campaign for women's voting rights than Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906). Her name became so synonymous with suffrage that the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was called “the Anthony Amendment” for many years by its supporters. Her papers are part of the “Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote” topical campaign, which brings together stories from women on the front lines of the largest reform movement in American history. Transcribing these pages will allow you to explore the long struggle for equality through the diaries, letters, and speeches of the women who fought for the right to vote and changed political history 100 years ago.View Projects
This campaign launched June 3, 2019 and completed May 11, 2020.
Ordinary Lives in George Washington’s Papers: The Revolutionary War
George Washington’s papers are an unparalleled source of information about the Revolutionary War. However, they document more than Washington’s experience: they also preserve the adventures, misfortunes, and ordinary business of the many people on both sides that he and his officers encountered. In this Campaign, you can transcribe the notes Washington’s aides made as they interrogated British deserters. You can also decipher the receipts Washington received from bakers, laundresses, tavernkeepers, and others in exchange for the goods and services they supplied him with during the war. While most of Washington’s letters, diaries, and speeches have been transcribed and published, these records documenting the wartime experience of ordinary people have not. You can be the first to bring these experiences into view.View Projects
This campaign launched June 29, 2020 and completed July 4, 2020.
Civil War Soldiers: "Disabled but not disheartened"
William Oland Bourne (1819-1901) was a reformer, poet, editor, and clergyman who organized left-hand penmanship competitions for Union soldiers who had lost their right arms during the Civil War.View Projects
This campaign launched October 24, 2018 and completed April 14, 2020.
Carrie Chapman Catt Papers
The papers of suffragist, political strategist, and pacifist Carrie Lane Chapman Catt (1859-1947) reflect her steadfast dedication to two major ideals--the rights of women, particularly the right to vote, and world peace. Catt served as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA) from 1900 to 1904, during which time she helped found the International Woman Suffrage Association, and for a second term beginning in 1915. Her papers are part of the “Suffrage: Women Fight for the Vote” topical campaign, which brings together stories from women on the front lines of the largest reform movement in American history. Transcribing these pages will allow you to explore the long struggle for equality through the diaries, letters, and speeches of the women who fought for the right to vote and changed political history 100 years ago.View Projects
This campaign launched June 3, 2019 and completed April 25, 2020.
Rosa Parks: In Her Own Words
Rosa Parks is best known for one courageous act on one extraordinary day: she refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger on December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Alabama. This decision launched the Montgomery Bus Boycott and a new phase of the civil rights movement. But it wasn’t the first time she stood up for herself and others, and it wasn’t the last. Hers was a life of activism and service. Help make her words and life accessible to future generations by transcribing letters, writings, and event programs and flyers from the Rosa Parks Papers.View Projects
This campaign launched February 4, 2020 and completed March 21, 2020.
"This Hell-upon-earth of a Prison": Samuel J. Gibson's Andersonville Diary
Union soldier Samuel J. Gibson (1833-1878) was a prisoner of war at the notorious Andersonville Prison following his capture by Confederate soldiers in 1864. He survived his eight-month ordeal in the prison camp he described as “this Hell-upon-Earth” and documented his experience in a diary and a letter to his wife.View Projects
This campaign launched November 6, 2019 and completed November 14, 2019.
Branch Rickey: Changing the Game
Branch Rickey (1881-1965) helped break the color line in Major League Baseball by recruiting Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Explore his scouting reports, which document Rickey's skill in analyzing a player's game.View Projects
This campaign launched October 24, 2018 and completed February 22, 2019.
The Man Who Recorded the World: On the Road with Alan Lomax
Discover rich folk traditions from America and the Caribbean by transcribing the notebooks and letters of folklorist Alan Lomax and his collaborators. Lomax had a knack for finding the best performers and coaxing them to record epic stories and songs, many of which are still sung and performed today. These documents serve as the bedrock of our understanding of twentieth-century American and Caribbean folk music.View Projects