The Louis Malesherbes Goldsborough Papers at the Library of Congress are now available online.
Some of you may recognize Goldsborough’s name in association with his long career in the U.S. Navy, which during the Civil War included service in the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron, and for his time as superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy (1853-1857) and commander of the Washington Navy Yard (1868-1873). Others may be interested in the family correspondence in the collection, as Goldsborough was the son-in-law of Attorney General William Wirt, and correspondence by and about the Wirt family, as well as with Goldsborough’s wife and daughter during his frequent absences from home, can be found throughout the “Correspondence and Other Papers” series. Thus, the Goldsborough Papers also offers opportunities for sources in mid-19th century women’s history.
The collection can be accessed in several ways:
- Through an online presentation (https://www.loc.gov/collections/louis-malesherbes-goldsborough-papers/about-this-collection/) that includes not only the collection items themselves, but also a selected bibliography in “Related Resources,” a timeline of Goldsborough’s life, and featured items displayed in a slide carousel of images that suggest the range of materials available in the collection.
- Through the HTML version of the finding aid (http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.mss/eadmss.ms009046); 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.ms009046.3); 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 tab. 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.
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 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.