Over the years, scores of scholars and researchers have visited Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey specifically to gain access to the more than 60,000 pages of important manuscripts contained in its collection. Now, this historical resource is available to students of American history, Americana, genealogy, and Revolutionary War history through this microfilm collection.
Though the emphasis is on the Revolutionary War period and men such as Franklin, Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Madison, and Washington, there is substantial material on nineteenth-century figures like Martin Van Buren, Daniel Webster, and Robert E. Lee. Also featured are many items on the French and Indian War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War period. Materials on and writings by such literary notables as Samuel Clemens, James Fenimore Cooper, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Washington Irving are also represented.
The collection is divided into two parts--The Lloyd W. Smith Collection and The Park Collection.
The Lloyd W. Smith Collection had its origin in banker, philantropist, and collector Smith's deep interest in compiling and preserving Washingtonia and materials related to genealogies and local histories in his native New Jersey. Over the years, his interest became a preoccupation, and he often purchased large-scale lots of manuscript materials to acquire a few desired items. Smith's will dictated that the Morristown National Historical Park should be the final recipient of his valuable holdings and a library was constructed to house the collection.
The Park Collection consists of materials acquired by the Washington Association of New Jersey, which was formed in 1874 to save and perpetuate the Ford Mansion, George Washington's headquarters in 1779 and 1780. In addition to preserving his home as a national shrine, the association made a concerted effort to collect Washingtonia and other equally valuable documents and artifacts from America's past. When Morristown National Historical Park was created in 1933, the National Park Service purchased these manuscripts, which became the nucleus of the collection.
From politics to fine arts, this collection has something for every researcher, and it is one of the most significant collections of materials of this type in the United States.