The Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress holds the papers of twenty-three presidents from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge. The Library is currently conducting a years-long project to digitize all of these presidential collections.
The papers of the following presidents are held at the Library of Congress. Those with links provided are currently available online.
Dates in Office
1885-1889 & 1893-1897
William H. Taft
Our Presidential collections can be accessed in a variety of ways. Below are instructions for accessing the Chester A. Arthur Papers, but the instructions are generally applicable for all of our Presidential collections.
- Through an online presentation (https://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/collmss.ms000095) that includes not only the collection items themselves, but also a selected bibliography in “Related Resources,” a timeline of Arthur’s life, and featured items displayed in slide carousel of images that suggest the range of materials available in the collection. The presentation also includes an essay on Julia I. Sand and her remarkable letters to President Arthur.
- Through the HTML version of the finding aid (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms009139); click on the “digital content available” hyperlinks in the Contents List section of the guide. A new window will open containing the object record for that material. Click on the document image in the center to open the viewer that provides access to the content.
- Through the PDF version of the finding aid (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms009139.3); click on the “digital content available” hyperlinks in the Container List section of the guide. Clicking on the hyperlink will forward that page to the object record for the material. Depending on your internet browser, hitting the “back” arrow may return you to the start of the PDF, rather than to your last location in the guide.
If you anticipate needing to toggle back and forth between the finding aid and object records, then the HTML version will be easier to use as object records are opened automatically in a new window. If using the PDF version of the finding aid, right clicking on the “digital content available” link will allow you to manually open a new tab in which to access the material without losing your place in the finding aid on the first tab.
The bulk of the online presentation was scanned from the microfilm edition of the collection, and items without a microfilm surrogate were scanned from the original documents.
Please note that this collection is not indexed to the level of individual documents, and that the collection is presented at the level of description found in the finding aid (from which the metadata in the online collection is derived). Keyword searching of the collection will not return results for individual items; it will only search the level of description available in the container listing of the collection finding aid. The best way to approach searching the Manuscript Division’s online collections is to pretend that you are in the Manuscript Reading Room and are examining the microfilm reels/containers most appropriate to your research. This may only involve searching through a single folder, or it may require you to scan through a microfilm reel’s worth of material.
The Index to the Chester A. Arthur Papers (PDF and HTML), published by the Manuscript Division in 1961 after the bulk of the collection was microfilmed, provides a full list of the correspondents and notes the series number and dates of the items indexed. This information is helpful in finding individual letters or documents in the online version. Additional materials received by the Library after 1961 are not listed in this index.
As always feel free to contact us if we can be of further assistance.