Historical Documents

Medieval manuscripts featuring stories about King Arthur and Camelot

Art Meets Science

How Much Medieval Literature Has Been Lost Over the Centuries?

A new analysis suggests that just 9 percent of manuscripts produced in Europe during the Middle Ages survive today

The Bonhams sale features more than 1,000 books from the late Supreme Court justice's personal library.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Personal Library Is Up for Auction

The late Supreme Court justice's collection includes novels, law books, notes and other documents dating back to her youth

The U.S. Capitol building was fenced off on January 7.

History of Now

Archiving the January 6 Insurrection for History

On the one-year anniversary of the attack on the Capitol, the National Museum of American History continues to collect related artifacts

The rare document is one of only two surviving first printings of the Constitution held by private collectors.

Rare First Printing of the U.S. Constitution Is the Most Expensive Text Ever Sold at Auction

A collective of cryptocurrency owners attempted to buy the document but was outbid by Citadel CEO Kenneth Griffin, who shelled out $43.2 million

Survivors received “fever passes” that certified their immunity, allowing them increased freedom of movement at a time when a substantial portion of the population was being held under strict quarantine.

Covid-19

In 19th-Century Gibraltar, Survivors of a Deadly Virus Used 'Fever Passes' to Prove Their Immunity

Should historic health officials' response to yellow fever outbreaks on the Iberian Peninsula serve as a model for modern pandemic management strategies?

The cache of newly returned items includes 15 handwritten papers and a small collection of looted antiquities.

Colonial-Era Papers Stolen From Mexico's National Archive Return Home

The documents, many of which are directly linked to conquistador Hernán Cortés, were smuggled out of the country and auctioned in the U.S.

Remembering Tulsa

Remembering Tulsa

A century ago, a murderous mob attacked the most prosperous Black community in the nation. This is the story of the Tulsa Race Massacre

Prior to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre, the thriving neighborhood of Greenwood, Oklahoma (seen here in 1920), was nicknamed "Black Wall Street."

Remembering Tulsa

How the Public Helped Historians Better Understand What Happened at Tulsa

A century after the massacre of a prosperous Black community, Smithsonian volunteers transcribed nearly 500 pages of vital records in less than 24 hours

The researchers virtually opened the letters with an advanced X-ray machine. They then used computers to analyze the folds and create a readable, digital model of the unfolded message.

Art Meets Science

How Researchers Are Reading Centuries-Old Letters Without Opening Them

A new technique enables scholars to unlock the secrets of long-sealed missives

An 1843 aquatint by Jean-Pierre-Marie Jazet, after a painting by Carl von Steuben, depicts Napoleon Bonaparte in his final moments.

Rare Doctor's Note Offers Glimpse Into Napoleon's Agonized Final Years

The 1818 missive, which describes the French statesman's failing health, recently sold at auction for $2,000

Submissions will be included in an online exhibition, “Reclamation: Recipes, Remedies, and Ritual,” set to open in January 2021.

Your Cherished Family Recipes Could Be Featured in a Museum Exhibition

The National Museum of Women in the Arts is asking the public to share recipes that document unique family histories

The Sistine Hall, originally constructed as part of the Vatican Library

Vatican Library Enlists Artificial Intelligence to Protect Its Digitized Treasures

The archive employs A.I. modeled on the human immune system to guard offerings including a rare manuscript of the "Aeneid"

Ratified Indian Treaty 37: Eel River, Wyandot,Piankashaw, Kaskaskia, and Kickapoo—Vincennes, Indiana Territory, August 7, 1803

Hundreds of Native American Treaties Digitized for the First Time

The National Archives has scanned more than 300 agreements between the United States and Indigenous tribes

New fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls with writing visible.

Text Found on Supposedly Blank Dead Sea Scroll Fragments

Invisible to the naked eye, researchers revealed lines of ancient script in new photographs

A broadsheet campaigned to save the house once owned by John Hancock.

How Historic Preservation Shaped the Early United States

A new book details how the young nation regarded its recent and more ancient pasts

Around half of the university's 100 "manuscript cookbooks" are now available online.

Education During Coronavirus

Dozens of Historic Mexican Cookbooks Are Now Available Online

The University of Texas San Antonio's vast collection makes traditional Mexican and Mexican-American cooking accessible

The Evidence Room represents thousands of  pages of testimony that was assembled by Robert Jan van Pelt, an architectural historian and the main expert witness in a British lawsuit brought by a Holocaust denier.

Using Art to Talk About the Holocaust in ‘The Evidence Room’

Museum staff discuss the reception of a difficult work that showed the vivid and painful documentation of a Nazi death camp

Trending Today

Help Find the Owners of More Than 100 Recovered Artworks

Stolen around Los Angeles in 1993, the paintings and antiques were recently recovered by LAPD when some were brought to an auction house

Humble lettuce, according to John Evelyn, “may safely be eaten raw in Fevers; for it allays Heat, bridles Choler, extinguishes Thirst, excites Appetite, kindly Nourishes, and above all reprelles Vapours, conciliates Sleep, mitigates Pain.”

A 17th-Century Ode to Salads Is Heading to Auction

'Acetaria' celebrates the healthful benefits of meatless dining

Trove of English Court Records Reveal Stories of Murder, Witchcraft, Cheese Theft

Archivists are cataloging documents from the Assizes court in the Isle of Ely, which tried serious crimes

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