The American history collections in the Lilly Library begin with the first printing in Latin of the Columbus letter (Rome, 1493), and continue through the mid-20th century. There are particularly good holdings covering Anglo-American relations leading to the American Revolution, the period of the Revolutionary War, the history of the United States Constitution, and the War of 1812. Three collections formed by Indiana alumni, Robert Spurrier Ellison (Class of 1900), George L. Harding (Class of 1915), and William Corr Service (Class of 1923), provide resources for the study of the American West with particular emphasis on overland narratives and diaries, on the Pacific Northwest, and on the California Gold Rush.
The Lilly Library's collection of books, manuscripts, photographs, and newspapers relating to the life of Abraham Lincoln is quite extensive. Collections concerning more recent United States politics include the papers of Charles Fairbanks, Paul V. McNutt, Wendell Willkie, and Charles Halleck.
The resources at the Lilly Library for the study of United States history are vast and varied, and interested researchers should inquire as to the Library's holdings in their particular area of study.
Online exhibition: American History Documents
A selection of manuscript and printed items relating to United States history.
Related exhibition catalogues include:
Top: "The Greenhorn." Alonzo Delano. Pen knife sketches; or, chips of the old block (1853).