New Online: William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection

This photograph is featured in the Gladstone Collection with documents from 1869 related to Gilbert Montgomery of the 4th United States Cavalry.

The Library of Congress is delighted to launch online in time for African-American History Month the William A. Gladstone Afro-American Military Collection, consisting of about 500 items. Gladstone was a historian and author of books about black Civil War troops.

The collection spans the years 1773 to 1987, with the bulk of the material dating from the Civil War period, 1861–65. The collection consists of correspondence, pay vouchers, orders, muster rolls, enlistment and discharge papers, receipts, contracts, affidavits, tax records, miscellaneous military documents and printed matter.

Most items document African-Americans in military service, especially the United States Corps d’Afrique and the United States Colored Troops, which were organized during the Civil War. Also included are many documents concerning slavery and various other Civil War documents that mention African-Americans.

A Civil War-era broadside featuring the song “The Colored Volunteers.”

Revolutionary War items are primarily pay vouchers to Connecticut blacks who served in the Continental Army. World War I is represented by the papers of Lieutenant Edward L. Goodlett of the 370th Infantry, 93rd Division.

Printed matter includes government orders, broadsides, 19th-century speeches and writings on slavery and 20th-century booklets and journal articles for scholars or collectors.

The Library of Congress purchased the collection from Gladstone in 1995. It has been kept in the numerical order established by him, which is neither topical nor chronological.

The Gladstone Collection of African-American Photographs in the Library’s Prints and Photographs Division complements and enhances this collection of manuscripts.

For a chronology of key events in African-American military service, click on the screen shot below!

Composition the Library Commissioned Wins a Grammy Award!

The Library of Congress is delighted to report that a composition it co-commissioned won a 2018 Grammy Award: Jennifer Higdon, acclaimed composer of contemporary classical music, accepted the award in Madison Square Garden in New York on January 28 for “Viola Concerto.” The Library co-commissioned the work from Higdon with the Curtis Institute of Music, […]

New Acquisition: Leo Matiz, History and Fiction through Photography

The following is a guest post by Catalina Gomez, a reference librarian in the Hispanic Division, and Adam Silvia, an assistant curator of photography in the Prints and Photographs Division. This past year, photography enthusiasts celebrated the 100-year anniversary of the birth of Leo Matiz (1917–98), one of the best photographers in Latin America in […]

Rare Book of the Month: Valentines of Days Gone By

This is a guest post by digital library specialist Elizabeth Gettins. Thomas W. Strong was a New York City publisher of popular lithographs and the self-proclaimed “oldest manufacturer of valentines in America.” It seems only fitting that he manufactured countless valentines as St. Valentinus, for whom the holiday is named, since “valens” means “strong” in […]

African-American History Month: Curating Black History

In this post, historians from the Library and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture highlight how collection items shed light on the black experience. The post is reprinted from the January–February issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine. The entire issue is available online. Adrienne Cannon is the Afro-American history […]

African-American History Month: Making Freedom the Law of the Land

To celebrate African-American History Month and the anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday—Feb. 12, 1809—we are sharing an article from “Building Black History,” the January–February issue of LCM, the Library of Congress Magazine, available in its entirety online. The Emancipation Proclamation, President Abraham Lincoln understood, was a wartime measure that wouldn’t ensure the freedom of […]

Free to Use and Reuse: Making Public Domain and Rights-Clear Content Easier to Find

One of our biggest challenges is letting you know about all of the content available at loc.gov. Another challenge we have is letting you know what you can do with it (in a nice way). We are working on several fronts to improve the visibility of public domain and rights-clear content. We moved one step […]