Digitisation of Renowned Gilder Lehrman Collection Published

28 October 2014

Adam Matthew is delighted to announce the publication of the long-awaited Gilder Lehrman Collection (GLC) under the title of American History, 1493-1945: From the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, New York, originally announced in September 2013. Adam Matthew will publish the collection in two parts; Part I of the most important archives on American history in existence, containing material from 1493-1859, is now available to purchase for use in academic teaching and research.

Spanning from 1493 until the twentieth century, and particularly strong on the Revolutionary and Civil War periods, the GLC includes c.50,000 letters, diaries, maps, pamphlets, printed books, newspapers, photographs, and ephemera. The political, social and economic history of the United States is documented in this remarkable collection.

Example items available include:

  • The Barcelona Letter, 1493. An early copy of the first letter from Christopher Columbus to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella of Spain on his voyage to what was to become the Americas
  • The Bloody Massacre, 1770. Paul Revere’s hand-coloured, illustrated handbill, depicting the mass shooting in Boston, May 5 1770 by the British 29th Regiment forces 
  • The Henry Knox Papers. Around 10,000 items constituting a collection that charts Bostonian Henry Knox’s journey from bookseller to revolutionary general while along the way giving important insights into the war, politics, mercantile affairs and family life of the revolutionary and new nation eras.
  • Two printed versions of the United States Constitution: Pierce Butler’s copy of the first draft and Benjamin Franklin’s personal, and signed copy, given to his nephew, Jonathan Williams
  • Manuscript letters , such as the earliest letter in the collection from George Washington to his ‘honoured madam’ (mother) when he was 25; John Adam’s sarcastic list of George Washington’s ‘talents’ (talent #1 being “his good looks”) written only eight years after Washington’s death, and Abraham Lincoln’s letter to Mary Owens, relinquishing her from any engagement to marry (May 7, 1837)

Example themes covered include: African American history; the American Revolution; American expansion (i.e. the Civil War; Reconstruction; the New Nation; the Dutch in America; French and British rivalry; the Mexican War; Native Americans; slavery and abolition; the War of 1812; the World Wars; and women in American history.

"We've very excited about this and love the idea that scholars anywhere in the world can see and use rare documents from the Gilder Lehrman Collection every day of the year."
James G. Basker, President, The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History 

The Gilder Lehrman Collection on American History: Part I joins a suite of more than 50 primary source digital products published by Adam Matthew. Part II of the GLC will be released in 2015.

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