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 Bicentennial of Herman Melville’s Birth

Melville "disinters" his epic poem, "Clarel" for an admirer.


With Firmness in the Right: Lincoln and the Jews

Lincoln's surprisingly prolific relationships with Jewish citizens

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

Exhibition Opening: "Mark Twain and the Holy Land"


Online exhibition coming this month!

Day In History

Coming Soon


The Shapell Roster of Jewish Civil War Soldiers - 2019


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independent educational organization dedicated to the research, collection, and exhibition of original manuscripts and historical documents.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