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


Daniel C. French in the Chesterwood studio working on the bust of Ambrose Swasey. 1922. Library of Congress Manuscript Division.

The Manuscript Division holds a wealth of papers pertaining to American sculptors and prominent sculptural works that help to realize the likeness of and to commemorate well-known figures in American history.

Of particular importance, for example, is a file on the seated figure of Abraham Lincoln that sculptor Daniel Chester French created for the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The papers of Gutzon Borglum also include extensive files concerning Borglum's most ambitious and best-known projects, including an uncompleted memorial to the Confederacy at Stone Mountain, Georgia, and the faces of Presidents Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt on Mount Rushmore. Various collections also cover the creation of several well known sculptures standing in the U.S. Capitol Rotunda and memorials along the National Mall.

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.


The following titles link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content, including finding aids for the collections, are included when available.