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Art Topics and Resources in the Manuscript Collections at the Library of Congress

Manuscript Collections

The following manuscript collections may be of interest to researchers studying art history and related subjects. Please note this list is not comprehensive and the Manuscript Division may hold additional related collections to those identified in the sub-pages linked on the left.

Many visual materials from the collections, including photographs, etchings, drawings, and others have been transferred to the Prints and Photographs Division. Patrons are advised to contact both the Manuscript Division and the Prints and Photographs Division for guidance on accessing these materials.

About the Manuscript Division

The Manuscript Division seeks to preserve personal papers and organizational records that document the course of America's national experience. Its more than twelve thousand collections and more than seventy million items touch upon every aspect of American history and culture. The Manuscript Division's holdings are strongest, however, in the areas of American national government, the federal judiciary, diplomacy, military history, women's history, and black history. 

Attention: All researchers are advised to contact the Manuscript Reading Room prior to visiting. Many collections are stored off-site, or may have access restrictions, and advance notice is needed to retrieve these items for research use. Researchers interested in consulting any of the division's collections are strongly encouraged to write the Manuscript Reading Room via the Ask a Librarian form or email at mss@loc.gov to inquire about the status of collections of interest.

About the Prints & Photographs Division

Unique in their scope and richness, the picture collections number more than 16 million images. These include photographs, historical prints, posters, cartoons, documentary drawings, fine prints, and architectural and engineering designs. While international in scope, the collections are particularly strong in materials documenting the history of the United States and the lives, interests, and achievements of the American people..