American Presidents






American Presidents: Life Portraits and
the Library of Congress Connection


The Library of Congress is the nation's largest single repository of presidential materials. It houses the papers of 23 American presidents and has archived hundreds of thousands of manuscripts, photographs, film, audio tape and other items related to the presidents and their administrations.

The Library's collection and its staff of experts have been important resources for C-SPAN's year-long television series, American Presidents: Life Portraits. A number of the Library's curators and specialists have appeared on camera to discuss the lives of individual presidents. Those interviews are now available to watch online through links provided on this page. The Library has also been a major source for the photographs, maps, film and sound clips used during the series.

C-SPAN.org has also relied upon the resources of the Library of Congress for this Web site supporting the series. The site has a page for each president, where you can read a letter they wrote. Most of these presidential letters were obtained from the Library's Manuscript Division.

Coming November 29, 1999

With Librarian of Congress James H. Billington as our guide, C-SPAN will take its cameras into the stacks containing the presidential papers. This is a rare opportunity to see original presidential letters, diaries, speeches and other official documents. Phone lines will be open for viewers to talk with the Librarian and his team of presidential experts. Watch this site for more details.

Air Times: 8pm and 11pm ET

Featured Library of Congress Programs

• From C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Jack Warren, historian and editor of The Washington Papers with Gerard Gawalt, a Curator at the Library of Congress, on the Papers of George Washington RealAudio

• From C-SPAN's Washington Journal, Rosemary Fry Plakas of the Library of Congress on the Papers of Thomas Jefferson Watch

• The Papers of James Monroe - Interview with Library of Congress Curator Gerard Gawalt Watch

• Online Chat with Library of Congress Curator Gerard W. Gawalt on James Madison, Chat Transcript

• Andrew Jackson Papers at the Library of Congress with Gerard Gawalt Watch

• The papers of William H. Harrison-Interview with Library of Congress Curator Gerard Gawalt Watch

• William Henry Harrison’s Inaugural Address-Interview with Library of Congress Curator Gerard Gawalt Watch

• The Papers of John Tyler - from the Library of Congress with Library of Congress Curator Gerard Gawalt Watch

• Washington Journal From 9/25/96 - Marvin Kranz, Library of Congress, on Polk Papers and Diary Watch

• Millard Fillmore & Maps at the Library of Congress -- with Patricia Molen Van Ee, Specialist, Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division Watch

• John Sellers of the Library of Congress on the Papers of President Garfield Watch

• The Papers of Chester Arthur with John Sellers of the Library of Congress Watch

• The Presidential Papers of Benjamin Harrison. Interview with Library of Congress Specialist John Sellers Watch

• The Papers of William McKinley, Interview with Library of Congress Specialist John Sellers Watch

• The Papers of Woodrow Wilson -Interview with Library of Congress Specialist John Haynes Watch

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