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Finding Benjamin Franklin: A Resource Guide

The Autobiography at Other Institutions

Huntington Library

Franklin's definitive, holographic manuscript for the Autobiography is held by The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens External in San Marino, California:

The first published version of the Autobiography based on Franklin's original manuscript was Lemay and Zall's The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin: A Genetic Text of 1981, which came out 190 years after the first versions appeared in print. See this guide's essay on Franklin's Autobiography for more on its complex publication history.

Library Company of Philadelphia

The Library Company of Philadelphia External, founded by Franklin in 1731, holds extensive collections of early American printed materials, including published works by and about Franklin. Versions of the Autobiography can be found in the online catalog:

American Philosphical Society

The American Philosophical Society External was founded by Franklin in 1743; its Library now holds as much as 75 percent of the surviving papers of Benjamin Franklin, as well as considerable collections of images and artifacts relating to Benjamin Franklin. Selected materials are digitized External.

Papers of Benjamin Franklin

The Papers of Benjamin Franklin Project External at Yale University works closely with Yale's extensive Franklin Collection External. Thirty-nine volumes through May, 1783 had been published as of early 2010, with a cumulative index External through volume 36 provided online. (Printed volumes are available for use in Library of Congress reading rooms.

Full text of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin External is provided online by the Packard Humanities Institute External, including transcriptions for materials that have not yet been published in Papers volumes. Fully searchable text of the published volumes of The Papers of Benjamin Franklin is also available through Founders Online External: