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Bill of Rights: Primary Documents in American History

Digital Collections

The digital collections of the Library of Congress contain a wide variety of primary source materials associated with the Bill of Rights, including congressional publications, manuscripts, letters, and broadsides.

Provided below is a link to the home page for each relevant digital collection along with selected highlights.

Congressional Publications

Bill of Rights Debate References:

Debate related to the proposed amendments to the Constitution can be located in the Annals of Congress, on the following dates in 1789.

Note: The Senate met in secret at the time. The Senate did not open its doors to the public until 1795.

The appendix to the Annals of Congress, First Congress, contains documents related to the ratification of the Bill of Rights by the various state legislatures.

Documents from the Continental Congress and the Constitutional Convention

Selected highlight from this collection:

Search on the phrase "1st-10th Amendments" in this collection to locate additional documents related to the Bill of Rights.

George Washington Papers

Selected highlights from this collection:

Historic Newspapers

A selection of articles from this collection includes:

James Madison Papers

Selected highlights from this collection:

Printed Ephemera

Selected highlights from this collection:

Thomas Jefferson Papers

Selected highlights from this collection: