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Archival History Sources in the Manuscript Division

Papers of Archivists


Staff and researchers in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division Reading Room around 1940.

Harris & Ewing, photographer Staff and readers in the Library of Congress Manuscript Division around 1940. Between ca. 1930 and ca. 1940. Prints and Photographs Division.

The Manuscript Division holds the papers of advocates for the creation of the nation's federal records repository, the National Archives, established in 1934. For example, J. Franklin Jameson is known as the Father of the National Archives for his long commitment to making public records accessible to scholars; he was chief of the Library Manuscript Division from 1928 until 1937. His papers document his achievements in the establishment and early existence of institutions including the American Historical Association, the American Historical Review, United States National Archives and Records Administration, and the Dictionary of American Biography. The majority of the collection entails Jameson's files as director of the Department of Historical Research of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, from 1905 to 1928.

Another important figure, Solon J. Buck, who was the second Archivist of the United States from 1941 to 1948, subsequently joined the Library of Congress as Manuscript Division chief from 1948 until 1951. His papers contain correspondence files for both his time as Archivist and Manuscript Division Chief.

Material in the Prints and Photographs Division