About the Manuscripts Collections
The manuscript collections contain over six and a half million unique and original items, from cuneiform tablets dating from the twentieth century B.C. to modern works of the present day.
Major strengths include the New Hampshire political, social, and economic history, the White Mountains, the "Cornish Colony," papers of presses and fine printers in New England, the history of computation, papers of Alumni who have made significant contributions to society, and British and American literature of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Extensive holdings of the papers of Robert Frost and Daniel Webster and the papers of Erskine Caldwell, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Maxfield Parrish, Grenville Clark, Cornelia Meigs, and Richard Eberhart are part of the collection.
Based on the extensive book and manuscript holdings of the Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson (1879-1962), the Stefansson Collection on Polar Exploration is a rich source of primary research material on the history of Arctic exploration to approximately 1940. Within the collection are papers concerning the search for Sir John Franklin, the numerous nineteenth century American polar expeditions, and the Canadian Arctic Expedition of 1913-1918. A large photographic collection, oral history tapes, and specialized vertical files supplement and support the book and manuscript holdings. An overview of the printed material in the Stefansson Collection can be found in the Rare Books collection descriptions.