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Resources for Teachers: Online Primary Sources from Manuscript Division

How to Use Our Resources

Jean Baptiste Tardieu, engraver. "Indian of the Nation of the Shawanoes." 1826. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The Library of Congress provides targeted activities and lesson plans in support of teachers and students. The Teachers Page is a clearinghouse of materials for teachers drawn from various locations on the Library of Congress website, including the Manuscript Division, and it also provides guidance on how to use them.

In addition, the Manuscript Division offers three highlights for teaching, which utilize various elements of our collections:

  • A Journey to the Northwest Frontier in 1783
    Have you ever wondered what it would have been like to travel across eighteenth-century American. This highlight features a first-person narrative from a journal kept by George McCully, an Indian trader and Revolutionary War soldier who traveled through the wilderness area between Pittsburgh and Detroit in June and July, 1783.
  • Counting Sheep: Unspinning the Mystery of the "Massachusetts Sheep Census"
    Learn how one historian identified and interpreted a document held by the Library of Congress’s Manuscript Division that appeared in the Library’s catalog with the puzzling title: “Massachusetts Sheep Census, 1787.”
  • George Washington's School Copy Books, ca. 1745-1747
    Take a closer look at young George Washington's education using the Manuscript Division's holdings of President George Washington's papers.

Handouts and Takeaways From the Manuscript Reading Room

Resources from the Teachers Page


It should be noted that the Library of Congress ordinarily does not own the copyright in either published or unpublished manuscripts in its custody. Therefore it can neither grant nor deny permission to publish or quote in published form from manuscripts in its collections.

It should also be noted that neither titles nor facts can be copyrighted; therefore, permission is not required to cite a collection as a source or to use facts from it. In general, when copyright interests do subsist in unpublished manuscripts, these interests are the property of the author or of the author's heirs or assigns.

Copyright ownership does not accompany physical ownership of a manuscript, although the owner of copyright interests may assign or sell such interests to the owner of the physical property. For more information about copyright, please refer to the U. S. Copyright Office Web page: