Welcome to the
Explore History

The Collection

603 primary source manuscripts

Releasing thousands of manuscripts as the digitization process continues; sharing stories from the human aspect of history.


Abraham Lincoln on the Campaign Trail, 1860

"...the skies look bright. What clouds may hereafter rise, we know not."


Albert Einstein on the Holocaust

"...bestially murdered my than half of my Jewish brethren..."


From the Gettysburg Battlefield, July 4, 1863

"We are confident of victory....I hope this Battle will end the war."


JFK on the Partition of Palestine and Balfour Declaration

"...Presidents & Congress have 'reaffirmed' the solemn promise..."


Theodore Roosevelt on self-sacrifice and his sons in WWI

“...at times it seems almost more than I can bear..."

Historical Perspectives

The Stories Behind the History

Discover the personal motivations and untold intrigues behind the stories that have shaped history.

Between the Lines

The 20th Anniversary of the Transfer of the Panama Canal

“I took the Canal Zone, and let Congress debate.”


Mark Twain and the Holy Land

"Human nature appears to be just the same, all over the world."

Curated Manuscripts

Presidential Military Service

How important is military service for the Commander in Chief?

Video Journeys

The Mortal Presidency

The toughest job in the U.S. is also the deadliest


Abraham Lincoln's Connections

Charting Lincoln's interpersonal relationships with the Jewish community

Featured Story

The 50th Anniversary of the Shootings at Kent State

Between the Lines

The Kent State Shootings: An Intimate And Public Agony

Day In History

July 5

Fiddlesticks! We don't have a unique manuscript written on this day. Image: Detail of oil on canvas portrait "Abraham Lincoln" by George P.A. Healy. The White House, Wikimedia Commons.

Coming Soon


The Shapell Roster of Jewish Civil War Soldiers - 2021


A microcosm of the American story, the Civil War was a crucible for the Jewish community. The Shapell Roster and its accompanying research exemplify the experiences of that period and illuminate the social, political, and religious struggles of the time.

About Shapell

The Shapell Manuscript Foundation is an independent educational organization dedicated to the research, collection, and exhibition of original manuscripts and historical documents.
The Foundation's focus is on the histories of the United States and the Holy Land, with emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. Its extensive holdings range from American presidents - especially Abraham Lincoln - to diverse figures such as Mark Twain; Albert Einstein; Theodor Herzl; and even to George Custer and the Little Big Horn.
Take a closer look at the work and mission of the Shapell Manuscript Foundation.