“My great mass of papers”: Correspondence of Theodore Roosevelt

  • 94% Completed
  • 6% Needs Review

Completed Pages: 110,299

Registered Contributors: 706

Launched March 18, 2020.

Volunteer transcriptions now enable discovery and access for portions of this collection. Search them.

In 2020, Library of Congress staff transcribed specific campaigns within the By the People program in response to the COVID-19 pandemic building closures. Now it's your turn! Can you help transcribe the remaining project from this “great mass of papers”?

Library of Congress staff also transcribed images of collections material featuring President Abraham Lincoln and George Patton. Learn more about the “staff only” campaigns and their successes.

Theodore Roosevelt’s (1858-1919) busy life as a politician, public servant, historian, solider, conservationist, author, adventurer, statesman, and family man reflected his wide-ranging interests. He was also a prolific writer of books, articles, and especially letters, and received as much mail as he sent.

This campaign consists of Series 2 and 3 from the Theodore Roosevelt Papers: Letterpress copybooks and Letters sent. Both include copies of much of Theodore Roosevelt’s outgoing correspondence. The subjects contained in those letters ranged from short replies on routine matters to extensive observations about issues of national or personal interest. The letters sent by Roosevelt and his secretaries often responded directly to incoming communications received from friends, colleagues, and the general public, many of which may be found in Series 1 of the Theodore Roosevelt Papers, also being transcribed in Rough Rider to Bull Moose: Letters to Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt's correspondents ranged from heads of states to average Americans, and covered subjects as diverse as politics and political reform, wars and military policy, foreign policy, books and literature, family life, pets, the natural world, history, simplified spelling, cattle ranching, coal strikes, social functions, camping trips and safaris. With an eye to the future, Roosevelt often wrote with the knowledge that many of his letters could be available to the public someday. Transcription of Theodore Roosevelt’s voluminous correspondence will shed light on the issues that came before him in both his public career and private life, and provide clues on how he hoped to be viewed by posterity.

Unlike other U.S. presidents, whose papers have been the subject of extensive and ongoing editorial projects, the letters of Theodore Roosevelt have received piecemeal attention. Crowdsourcing these Library of Congress materials will contribute greatly to the accessibility and searchability of Roosevelt’s research-rich correspondence.

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