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U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: A Resource Guide

This research guide features unique primary source materials from the Library of Congress for presidential inaugurations, 1789 to the present, including inaugural addresses, letters, diaries, photographs, prints, and sheet music.


Alexander Gardner, photographer. Lincoln's second inaugural. 1865. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The Library of Congress digital collections include a wide variety of primary source materials documenting presidential inaugurations. This guide includes diaries and letters written by presidents and those who witnessed the inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music.

A key objective is providing access to many treasures and other important primary source materials held by the Library of Congress. The collection has been organized chronologically by presidential inauguration.

This guide is adapted from the retired American Memory collection 'I Do Solemnly Swear...': Presidential Inaugurations, which debuted on the Library of Congress's website in November 2000. Selections are drawn from the Manuscript Division, the Prints and Photographs Division, the Rare Book and Special Collections Division, the Music Division, and the general collections of the Library of Congress. Additional photographs were provided by the Architect of the Capitol, the White House, and the United States Senate Office of the Sergeant at Arms.