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.
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 some 340 rare items focused primarily on American presidential administrations from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. The collection is particularly rich in correspondence by John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams, including dozens of Adams-related documents and letters penned by the second and sixth presidents. It also includes a significant trove of material from Albert Gallatin, secretary of the treasury under Presidents Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. Presidential spouses are also represented, including letters by Dolley Madison and Abigail Adams.