The Library of Congress
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Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress, 1793-1919
Manuscript Division, Library of Congress

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The online presentation of The Samuel F. B. Morse Papers at the Library of Congress comprises about 6,500 items, or approximately 50,000 images, that document Morse's invention of the electromagnetic telegraph, his participation in the development of telegraph systems in the United States and abroad, his career as a painter, his family life, his travels, and his interest in early photography, religion, and the nativist movement. Included in the collection are correspondence, letterbooks, diaries, scrapbooks, printed matter, maps, drawings, and other miscellaneous materials. The papers included date from 1793 to 1919, but most are from 1807 to 1872. The collection includes the original paper tape containing the first telegraph message, "What hath God wrought?," sent on May 24, 1844. The digitization of the Morse Papers is made possible through the generous support of the AT&T Foundation.


The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.


Special Presentations

Collection Highlights

Timeline

Morse Family Tree


Understanding the Collection

About the Collection

The Invention of the Telegraph

The Lesser-Known Morse: Artist, Politician, Photographer

Finding Aid
from the Manuscript Division

Related Resources

Collection Connections

Working with the Collection

How to View Text

How to Order Reproductions

Building the Digital Collection

Copyright and Other Restrictions

Acknowledgments


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