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James A. Garfield Papers at the Library of Congress

From The Society for Women and the Civil War

The James A. Garfield Papers at the Library of Congress are now available online!

The collection can be accessed in several ways:

Through an online presentation ( that includes not only the collection items themselves, but also a selected bibliography in “Related Resources,” a timeline of Garfield’s life, and featured items displayed in slide carousel of images that suggest the range of materials available in the collection.Through the HTML version of the finding aid (; click on the “digital content available” hyperlinks in the Contents List section of the guide. A new window will open containing the object record for that material. Click on the document image in the center to open the viewer that provides access to the content.Through the PDF version of the finding aid (; click on the “digital content available” hyperlinks in the Container List section of the guide. Clicking on the hyperlink will forward that page to the object record for the material, and hitting the “back” arrow will return you to the start of the PDF (not at your last location in the guide).

If you anticipate needing to toggle back and forth between the finding aid and object records, then the HTML version will be easier to use as object records are automatically opened in a new window. If using the PDF version of the finding aid, right clicking on the “digital content available” link will allow you to manually open a new tab in which to access the material without losing your place in the finding aid on the first tab.

The bulk of the online presentation was scanned from the microfilm edition of the collection, and items without a microfilm surrogate were scanned from the original documents.

Please note that this collection is not indexed online to the level of individual documents, and that the collection is presented at the level of description found in the finding aid (from which the metadata in the online collection is derived). Keyword searching the collection will not return hits for individual items; it will only search the level of description available in the container listing of the collection finding aid. The best way to approach searching the online collection is to pretend that you are in the Manuscript Reading Room and are examining the microfilm reels/containers most appropriate to your research. This may only involve searching through a single folder, or it may require you to scan through a microfilm reel’s worth of material.

The Index to the James A. Garfield Papers (PDF and page view), created by the Manuscript Division in 1973 after the bulk of the collection was microfilmed, provides a full list of the correspondents and notes the series number and dates of the items indexed. This information is helpful in finding individual letters or documents in the online version. Additional letters received by the Library of Congress after 1973 are not listed in this index.

The Library recently published a blog on the love letters of James and Lucretia Garfield, which is available at

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