Jefferson Library Collections

The Jefferson Library is a gateway to information on Thomas Jefferson and his life, times, and legacy. To this end, the Library collects a wide variety of materials, including books, journals and journal articles, Web sites, microforms, videos and DVDs, photographs, maps, and memorabilia. We collect any and all books, articles and other items about Thomas Jefferson; secondarily, we selectively acquire materials on any subjects relevant to Thomas Jefferson, including such topics as colonial history, Virginia history, government, diplomacy, wine, archaeology, natural history, architecture, literature, French cuisine, slavery, natural rights, the University of Virginia, gardening, and science. The Library also has an extensive collection of literature on the Lewis and Clark Expedition, courtesy of a gift from Mr. Ron Laycock. The Jefferson Library collection includes materials for adults as well as children and young adults, and everything from scholarly articles to bestselling works of fiction and nonfiction to pop-up books.

Book Collection

The Jefferson Library has over 5,000 titles, and another 5,000 in departmental libraries throughout the Foundation. These libraries include Archaeology, the Center for Historic Plants, Curatorial, Education, Guides, and the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies at Kenwood.

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Serials Collection

The library currently subscribes to approximately three dozen journals and newsletters in the fields of early American history, Virginia, and local history.

Click here to see a list of our serials holdings.

Microfilm Collection

The collection of about 400 reels consists mostly of the papers of Thomas Jefferson from the Library of Congress, Massachusetts Historical Society, University of Virginia, Henry E. Huntington Library, Missouri Historical Society, New York Historical Society, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Colonial Williamsburg, and the American Philosophical Society. The Rice Papers are also available on microfilm, as well as several newspaper runs from the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Audio and Video Collection

The Jefferson Library has over a thousand videos, DVDs, audio CDs and audio cassettes. These include both commercially-produced documentaries and Foundation-produced materials such as lectures and interviews.

Research Collection

Vertical Files

The Library's Information Files collection consists of 16 file drawers that contain over 4500 folders of unpublished and published information on topics related to Jefferson, divided into Subjects, People, and Places. The finding aid for this collection can be viewed online as a PDF by clicking here.

The Library also maintains 16 file drawers of articles relating to Jefferson, organized alphabetically by author's last name.

Additionally, the Library has 4 file drawers of photocopied primary documents relating to Jefferson such as his Case and Account Books, Edmund Bacon's correspondence, and some family letters.

Research Reports

The Library has over 300 unpublished documents compiled by Foundation staff, interns, and other researchers dealing with Jefferson, Monticello, and period history. Some unique items include Archaeology Reports, The Joinery at Jefferson's Monticello, Jefferson's Journey to Washington, November 1800, and Chronologies of the Whereabouts of Martha Jefferson, 1784-1809, Mary Jefferson, 1784-1809, Thomas Jefferson, 1767-1826. Research Reports can be searched using the Thomas Jefferson Portal.

Special Collections

Books

There are over 1300 books in our Special Collections dealing with Jefferson, his writings, his contemporaries, and area history, including the Howard C. Rice Collection of over 450 books and 60 binders on 18th-century France and on Americans who lived there.

A few titles in our Special Collections include Jefferson's Writings (1830) edited by Thomas Jefferson Randolph, Jefferson's Works (1857) edited by H.A. Washington, and a second edition of Jefferson's A Manual of Parliamentary Practice (1810).

Note: The Jefferson Library is not a repository for Thomas Jefferson's original papers. These documents are held at various other locations, including the Library of Congress, University of Virginia, and the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Some titles owned by Thomas Jefferson are on display in The Library (Book Room) at Monticello.

Ephemera Collection

The Library has a collection of flyers, stamps, newspaper clippings, and brochures relating to Jefferson and the Monticello estate.

Image Collection

Architectural Image Collection

The Architectural Image Collection consists of approximately 2000 photocopies, post cards, photographs, and drawings of Monticello's interior, exterior, and grounds, dating from Jefferson's time through the present. View the finding aid here.

Slides

There are approximately 6500 slides of architectural and archaeological sites and European locations relevant to Jefferson and Monticello.

Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. Archives

The Jefferson Library also houses the Archives of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, consisting of over 100 linear feet of publications (galleys and early proofs), correspondence, curator reports, miscellaneous printed material, and financial accounts. A printed finding aid for the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Archives is available in our Reference section.

Manuscripts

The Library holds the papers of Milton L. Grigg, an architect who worked on the early restoration of Monticello, as well as Howard C. Rice's papers, assembled in preparation of his works, Thomas Jefferson's Paris and Chastellux, Travels.

Architectural Material

The Library has approximately 300 architectural drawing and sketches that pertain to the various restorations of Monticello and its dependencies. There are also about 50 pieces relating to the excavations of Shadwell, Jefferson's birthplace.

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