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.


With Firmness in the Right: Lincoln and the Jews

Lincoln's surprisingly prolific relationships with Jewish citizens

©Shapell Manuscript Foundation. All Rights Reserved. For more information, please contact us at www.shapell.org.
Between the Lines

The Anniversary of the First Zionist Congress

"I am convinced to the depth of my soul" - Theodor Herzl

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

“And This Too Shall Pass Away – Never Fear.”

Between the Lines

At an even more fraught and divisive moment in our past, Abraham Lincoln, too, lost an epic contest – and so 160 years ago wrote this letter whose final words are once more worth heeding.

Day In History

December 17


Grover Cleveland, recovering from secret cancer surgery, reports he is "getting to be quite a drunkard." Photo Credit: U.S. Library of Congress. Discover more on 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 include American presidents, especially Abraham Lincoln; Mark Twain; Albert Einstein; Custer and the Little Big Horn; and Theodor Herzl.
Take a closer look at the work and mission of the Shapell Manuscript Foundation.