The Shapiro Center Collection

The Huntington is one of the nation’s leading repositories for historical Americana. Built on the foundations laid by Henry E. Huntington, the Library is home to extensive, diverse, and ever-growing collections that document American history and culture from the Colonial period onward. Outstanding manuscripts and letters written by Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln are among the early highlights. The holdings are particularly strong for the Seven Years’ War, the American Revolution, and the Civil War, as well as for California and the American West. For more, see the Library Collections and the Presidential Founders resource guide.

The Shapiro Collection

In addition to an endowment for innovative programming and the long-term care and growth of The Huntington’s early-American collections of rare books and manuscripts, the Shapiro gift includes a collection of over 500 items of original material from U.S. presidents and other prominent historical figures. All presidents from George Washington to Barack Obama are represented in the collection with the bulk of material for John Quincy Adams, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Warren G. Harding; there are also numerous items for John Adams, James Monroe, Franklin Pierce, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and Harry S. Truman. Additionally, the collection contains material for various cabinet members, especially Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin; Supreme Court justices; several presidential spouses including Abigail Adams, Dolley Madison, and Eleanor Roosevelt; and a small number of items relating to famous explorers, British politicians, and royalty. There are 40 items pertaining to American statesman and financier Bernard M. Baruch. Material in the collection is primarily correspondence; also present are documents, ephemera, photographs, and engraved portraits. See the Shapiro collection’s finding aid for more information.