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

Abraham Lincoln on the Campaign Trail, 1860

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

Albert Einstein

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."

Young John F. Kennedy

JFK on the Partition of Palestine and Balfour Declaration

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

Theodore Roosevelt

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.

Theodore Roosevelt
Between the Lines

The 20th Anniversary of the Transfer of the Panama Canal

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

Profile of a young Mark Twain.

Mark Twain and the Holy Land

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

Detail of painting of George Washington
Curated Manuscripts

Presidential Military Service

How important is military service for the Commander in Chief?

Lyndon Johnson taking the Presidential oath of office aboard Airforce One, next to Jackie Kennedy
Video Journeys

The Mortal Presidency

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

Infographic showing Lincoln's various circles of Jewish friends and acquaintances.

Abraham Lincoln's Connections

Charting Lincoln's interpersonal relationships with the Jewish community

Featured Story

Day In History

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independent educational organization dedicated to the research, collection, and exhibition of original manuscripts and historical documents.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.