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Missouri: State Resource Guide

Digital Collections

Written materials in the Library's digital collections include but are not limited to books, pamphlets, government documents, and manuscripts. Examples of written materials related to Missouri are provided for the collections listed below.

Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress

The complete Abraham Lincoln Papers at the Library of Congress consists of approximately 20,000 documents. The Lincoln Papers are characterized by a large number of correspondents, including friends and associates from Lincoln's Springfield days, well-known political figures and reformers, and local people and organizations writing to their president.

Selected highlights from this collection:

African American Perspectives Pamphlets from the Daniel A. P. Murray Collection 1818-1907

The Daniel A.P. Murray Pamphlet Collection presents a panoramic and eclectic review of African-American history and culture, spanning almost one hundred years from the early nineteenth through the early twentieth centuries, with the bulk of the material published between 1875 and 1900. Among the authors represented are Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington, Ida B. Wells-Barnett, Benjamin W. Arnett, Alexander Crummel, and Emanuel Love. Use the search box to find Missouri items.

Alfred Whital Stern Collection of Lincolniana

Alfred Whital Stern (1881-1960) of Chicago presented his outstanding collection of Lincolniana to the Library of Congress in 1953. The collection containing more than 11,100 items, documents the life of Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) both through writings by and about Lincoln as well as a large body of publications concerning the issues of the times including slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and related topics. It includes the complete collection of Stern's contemporary newspapers, Lincoln's law papers, sheet music, broadsides, prints, cartoons, maps, drawings, letters, campaign tickets, and other ephemeral items. You can browse the collection by location to find over thirty items related to Missouri.

American Notes: Travel in America, 1750 - 1920

The collection comprises 253 published narratives by Americans and foreign visitors recounting their travels in the colonies and the United States and their observations and opinions about American peoples, places, and society from about 1750 to 1920. Also included is the thirty-two-volume set of manuscript sources entitled Early Western Travels, 1748-1846, published between 1904 and 1907. Use the location index to search for Missouri related items.

Andrew Jackson Papers

The Andrew Jackson Papers is one of twenty-three presidential collections in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The Jackson archival collection contains more than 26,000 items dating from 1767 to 1874. Search the collection to locate Missouri related items.

Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers Project 1936 to 1938

The collection contains more than 2,300 first-person accounts of slavery and 500 black-and-white photographs of former slaves including some from Missouri. These narratives were collected in the 1930s as part of the Federal Writers Project of the Works Progress Administration and assembled and microfilmed in 1941. Browse the collection by location to find Missouri related items.

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774-1875

The collection consists of a linked set of published congressional records of the United States of America from the Continental Congress through the 43rd Congress, 1774-1875. Search the full text using the search term Louisiana for items relating to the state.

Selected highlights from this collection:

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress

The Frederick Douglass Papers at the Library of Congress presents the papers of the nineteenth-century African-American abolitionist who escaped from slavery and then risked his own freedom by becoming an outspoken antislavery lecturer, writer, and publisher. The special presentations for the collection include a Timeline, Douglass in His Own Words, and a Family Tree. Browse the collection by location to locate four items for Missouri.

James Madison Papers, 1723 to 1859

The Madison Papers consists of approximately 12,000 items, spanning the period 1723-1859, captured in some 72,000 digital images. They document the life of the man who came to be known as the Father of the Constitution through correspondence, personal notes, drafts of letters and legislation, an autobiography, legal and financial documents, and his notes on the 1787 federal Constitutional Convention.

Selected highlights from this collection:

Printed Ephemera: Three Centuries of Broadsides and Other Printed Ephemera

The collection contains, among other materials, posters, playbills, song sheets, notices, invitations, proclamations, petitions, timetables, leaflets, propaganda, manifestos, ballots, tickets, menus, and business cards. There are more than 28,000 items in the collection with 10,172 available online. The material dates from the seventeenth century to the present day and covers innumerable topics. The collection contains more than thirty items pertaining to Missouri.

Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy, 1921-1929

This collection is particularly strong in advertising and mass-marketing materials and will be of special interest to those seeking to understand economic and political forces at work in the 1920s. Search the full-text of the collection to locate items related to Missouri.

Rosa Parks Papers

The papers of Rosa Parks (1913-2005) span the years 1866-2006, with the bulk of the material dating from 1955 to 2000.The collection, which contains approximately 7,500 items in the Manuscript Division, as well as 2,500 photographs in the Prints and Photographs Division, documents many aspects of Parks private life and public activism on behalf of civil rights for African Americans.  The collection contains three Missouri related photographs.

Salmon P. Chase Papers

The papers of Ohio governor, Lincoln cabinet official, and Supreme Court justice Salmon P. Chase (1808-1873) span the years 1755-1898, consists primarily of diaries, correspondence, letter books, speeches and writings, financial papers, and legal files. His speech in the U.S. Senate against the repeal of the Missouri Compromise is represented.

Selected Digitized Books

This collection is made up of digital versions of books from the Library of Congress General Collections on a wide range of subjects. Most of the books in this collection were published in the United States before 1923 and are in English, but there are also some materials in foreign languages or that were published elsewhere. The collection features hundreds of works of fiction published between 1800 and 1922, including books intended for children and young adults. The collection will grow over time. Browse the collection by location to find sixteen items for Missouri.

Slaves and the Courts, 1740 to 1860

This collection consists of 105 library books and manuscripts, totaling approximately 8,700 pages drawn principally from the Law Library and the Rare Book and Special Collections Division of the Library of Congress, with a few from the General Collections. Search the collection to locate items for Missouri

Thomas Jefferson Papers, 1606 to 1827

This collection documents Jefferson's whole life, both public and personal--as a delegate to the second Continental Congress, Virginia legislator and governor, diplomat and residence in France, secretary of state, and president. Search the collection to locate items for Missouri.

The collections of the Prints & Photographs Division include photographs, fine and popular prints and drawings, posters, and architectural and engineering drawings. While international in scope, the collections are particularly rich in materials produced in, or documenting the history of, the United States and the lives, interests and achievements of the American people. Search using the subject heading United States--Missouri to find digital images related to Missouri, such as prints, photographs, and political cartoons.

Architecture, Design & Engineering Drawings

The Architecture, Design, and Engineering category covers about 40,000 drawings (described in more than 3,900 catalog records), spanning 1600 to 1989, with most dating between 1880 and 1940. The designs are primarily for sites and structures in the U.S. (especially Washington, D.C.), as well as Europe and Mexico.

Selected highlights from this collection:

Bain Collection

This collection represents the photographic files of one of America's earliest news picture agencies. The collection richly documents sports events, theater, celebrities, crime, strikes, disasters, political activities including the woman suffrage campaign, conventions and public celebrations.

Selected highlights from this collection:

Brady-Handy Collection

In 1954 the Library of Congress purchased approximately 10,000 original, duplicate, and copy negatives from the daughters of Levin C. Handy who was apprenticed at the age of twelve to his uncle, famed Civil War photographer Mathew B. Brady. The majority of the Brady-Handy negatives are of Civil War and post-Civil War portraits.

Selected highlights from this collection:

By Popular Demand: Jackie Robinson and Other Baseball Highlights 1860s - 1960s

In 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American in the twentieth century to play professional major league baseball. Before joining the majors, Jackie Robinson played in the Negro Leagues with the Kansas City, Monarchs. Robinson's departure from the Negro Leagues and the ensuing recruitment of other great African-American players marked the decline and eventual close of the Negro Leagues in 1960. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum located in Kansas City, Missouri opened in 1990 and is dedicated to preserving the history of African-American baseball.

Cartoon Drawings

The Cartoon Drawings filing series spans the late 1700s to the present, primarily from 1880 to 1980. The cartoons cover people and events throughout the world, but most of the images were intended for publication in American newspapers and magazines.

Selected highlight from this collection:

Cartoon Drawings: Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon

The Caroline and Erwin Swann Collection of Caricature and Cartoon contains 2,085 drawings, prints, and paintings that span the years 1780 to 1977. Most of the images are cartoons, comic strips, and periodical illustrations drawn by American artists between 1890 and 1970. Missouri related items are among those represented.

Cartoon Prints, American

This collection of more than 500 prints made in America during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries encompasses several forms of political art, including Missouri related items.

Civil War

This collection explore the faces, places and events of the U.S. Civil War through photographs, prints and drawings. Browse the collection by location to access items related to Missouri.

Detroit Publishing Company

Photographs from the Detroit Publishing Company Collection includes over 25,000 glass negatives and transparencies as well as about 300 color photo lithograph prints, mostly of the eastern United States. Subjects strongly represented in the collection include city and town views, including streets and architecture; parks and gardens; recreation; and industrial and work scenes. Over 40 items from Missouri are represented.

Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Black-and-White Negatives

The images in the Farm Security Administration-Office of War Information Collection consist of about 175,000 black-and-white negatives of American people and places. The collection of photographs, taken by a group of U.S. government photographers, fall into the public domain and contain more than 2,000 black-and-white photographs of Missouri.

Selected highlights from this collection:

Gottscho-Schleisner Collection

The Gottscho-Schleisner Collection is comprised of over 29,000 images primarily of architectural subjects, including interiors and exteriors of homes, stores, offices, factories, historic buildings, and other structures. Although subjects are concentrated chiefly in the northeastern United States, more than forty Missouri related items are represented.

Highsmith (Carol M.) Archive

The online presentation of the Carol M. Highsmith Archive features photographs of landmark buildings and architectural renovation projects in Washington, D.C., and throughout the United States. The first 23 groups of photographs contain more than 2,500 images and date from 1980 to 2005, with many views in color as well as black-and-white. Highsmith, a distinguished and richly-published American photographer, has donated her work to the Library of Congress since 1992. Her generosity in dedicating the rights to the American people for copyright free access also makes this Archive a very special visual resource. The archive contains more than eighty Missouri photographs.

Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey

The collections document achievements in architecture, engineering, and design in the United States and its territories through a comprehensive range of building types and engineering technologies. Browse the collection by location to locate more than 1000 items for Missouri.

Korab Collection

This selection of photographs by Balthazar Korab, one of the most respected architectural photographers in the United States, documents 19 projects designed by renowned architect Eero Saarinen. Browse the collection by location to find the Missouri related items.

National Child Labor Committee Collection

More than 5,100 photographic prints and 355 glass negatives in the Prints and Photographs Division's holdings, together with the often extensive captions that describe the photo subjects, reflect the results of this early documentary effort, offering a detailed depiction of working and living conditions of many children--and adults--in the United States between 1908 and 1924. The collection includes more than 100 Missouri prints and negatives.

Panoramic Photographs

The Panoramic Photograph Collection date from 1851 to 1991 and features American cityscapes, landscapes, and group portraits. Subject strengths include: agricultural life; beauty contests; disasters; engineering work such as bridges, canals and dams; fairs and expositions; military and naval activities, especially during World War I; the oil industry; schools and college campuses; sports; and transportation. All 50 states including Missouri are represented.

Popular Graphic Arts

About 15,000 historical prints (ca. 1700-1900) created to document geographic locations such as Missouri or popular subjects that are sometimes used for advertising and educational purposes. Most are by American printmakers (e.g., Baillie, Currier & Ives, Sachse & Co.).

Selected highlights from this collection:

Posters: Artist Posters

The online Artist Posters consist of a small but growing proportion of the more than 85,000 posters in the Artist Poster filing series. This series highlights the work of poster artists, both identified and anonymous. It includes posters from the nineteenth century to the present day.

Selected highlights from this collection:

Posters: WPA Posters

This collection consists of 907 posters produced from 1936 to 1943 by various branches of the WPA. The posters were designed to publicize exhibits, community activities, theatrical productions, and health and educational programs in seventeen states and the District of Columbia, with the strongest representation from California, Illinois, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.

Quilts and Quiltmaking in America, 1978 to 1996

The Blue Ridge Parkway Folklife Project was a field project conducted in 1978 by the American Folklife Center, in partnership with the National Park Service. The quilt images convey the range of contemporary quiltmaking styles in the United States, while the recorded interview segments provide information on the quiltmakers and their work within the context of their lives and region and a more in-depth portrait of quiltmaking in daily life. Images of three quilts from Missouri residents are highlighted.

Women of Protest: Photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party

The photographs from the Records of the National Woman's Party, a collection housed in the Manuscript Division, document the National Woman's Party's push for ratification of the 19th Amendment as well as its later efforts for passage of the Equal Rights. Missouri related photographs are available.

The Library of Congress has custody of the largest and most comprehensive cartographic collection in the world with collections numbering over 5.5 million maps, 80,000 atlases, 6,000 reference works, over 500 globes and globe gores, 3,000 raised relief models, and a large number of cartographic materials in other formats, including over 19,000 CDs/DVDs.

The Library oversees one of the largest collections of motion pictures in the world. Acquired primarily through copyright deposit, exchange, gift and purchase, the collection spans the entire history of the cinema. The following moving image collections contain materials related to Missouri.

America at Work, America at Leisure: Motion Pictures from 1894 to 1915

Features 20th century motion picture presentations of school and leisure activities in Missouri.

Selected highlights from this collection:

Theodore Roosevelt: His Life and Times

Consisting of motion pictures and sound recordings from the Theodore Roosevelt Association Collection in the Motion Picture, Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division.

Selected highlights from this collection:

Variety Stage Sound Recordings and Motion Pictures

The motion pictures in the Variety Stage Sound Recordings and Motion Pictures include animal acts, burlesque, dance, comic sketches, dramatic excerpts, dramatic sketches, physical culture acts, and tableaus.

Selected highlight from this collection:

The Library of Congress holds the nation's largest public collection of sound recordings (music and spoken word) and radio broadcasts, some three million recordings in all.

After the Day of Infamy: "Man-on-the-Street" Interviews Following the Attack on Pearl Harbor

This collection presents approximately 12 hours of opinions recorded in the days and months following the bombing of Pearl Harbor from more than two hundred individuals in cities and towns across the United States. The result is a portrait of everyday life in America as the United States entered World War II. Interviews from participants from Crane and Galena, Missouri are highlighted.

American English Dialect Recordings: The Center for Applied Linguistics Collection

The collection contains 118 hours of recordings documenting North American English dialects. The recordings include speech samples, linguistic interviews, oral histories, conversations, and excerpts from public speeches. The collection includes recordings from forty-three states.

Selected highlights from this collection:

Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature

The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress dates back to 1943 and contains nearly two thousand recordings - of poets and prose writers participating in literary events at the Library's Capitol Hill campus as well as sessions at the Library's Recording Laboratory. In digitizing the archive and presenting it online, the Library hopes to greatly broaden its use and value. Search the collection for recordings of poets affiliated with Missouri.

Frontline Diplomacy: The Foreign Affairs Oral History Collection of the Association for Diplomatic Studies and Training

These transcripts present a window into the lives of U.S. diplomats and the major diplomatic crisis and issues that the United States faced during the second half of the 20th century and the early part of the 21st. Three Missouri interviews are represented in the Frontline Diplomacy collection.

The Library of Congress Celebrates the Songs of America

The Songs of America allows you to explore American history as documented in the work of some of our country's greatest composers, poets, scholars, and performers. From popular and traditional songs, to poetic art songs and sacred music, the relationship of song to historical events from the nation's founding to the present is highlighted through more than 90,000 online items. There are over 1,000 items representing Missouri.

National Jukebox

The Library of Congress National Jukebox, makes historical sound recordings available to the public free of charge. The Jukebox includes recordings from the extraordinary collections of the Library of Congress Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation and other contributing libraries and archives. Search the National Jukebox to locate items pertaining to Missouri.

Selected highlights from this collection:


Ragtime, a uniquely American, syncopated musical phenomenon, has been a strong presence in musical composition, entertainment, and scholarship for over a century. See, hear, explore and learn!

Selected highlights from this collection:

Southern Mosaic: The John and Ruby Lomax 1939 Southern States Recording Trip

This recording trip is an ethnographic field collection that includes nearly 700 sound recordings, as well as field notes, dust jackets, and other manuscripts documenting a three-month, 6,502-mile trip through the southern United States. These recordings represent a broad spectrum of traditional musical styles. A few Missouri related items are available in this collection.

The Library's sheet music collection include popular songs, piano music, sacred and secular choral music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials, and music for band and orchestra.

America Singing: Nineteenth-Century Song Sheets

This collection spans the period from the turn of the nineteenth century to the 1880s, although a majority of the song sheets were published during the height of the craze, from the 1850s to the 1870s.

Selected highlight from this collection:

Baseball Sheet Music

The collection features 147 items of sheet music that reference baseball from the late nineteenth century to the early twentieth century. Missouri related items are represented.

Civil War Sheet Music Collection

The Civil War Sheet Music Collection consists of over 2500 pieces culled from the Library's collections. This collection is unique in that it offers a contemporary perspective from both sides of the conflict, unfiltered by generations of historical interpretation. The collection is limited to music about the war and therefore does not include every piece of sheet music published during the war. Missouri themed sheet music is available.

Historic Sheet Music Collection, 1800 to 1922

This sheet music collection consists of approximately 9,000 items published from 1800 to 1922, although the majority is from 1850 to 1920. The bulk was published in many different cities in the United States, but some of the items bear European imprints. Most of the music is written for voice and piano; a significant minority is instrumental.

Selected highlight from this collection:

Music for the Nation: American Sheet Music, ca. 1870 to 1885

Consists of over 47,000 pieces of sheet music, including Missouri items registered for copyright during the years 1870 to 1885. Included are popular songs, piano music, sacred and secular choral music, solo instrumental music, method books and instructional materials, and music for band and orchestra.

Selected highlights from this collection: