Division of Political History: Collections

The collections document the history of American democracy and the nation’s political culture from colonial settlements to the present. The collection is divided into three major areas. The political campaign collection is the largest holding of presidential campaign material in the United States and includes banners, signs, campaign ephemera, novelties, documents, photographs, voter registration material, ballots, and voting machines. The general political history collections include personal and ceremonial objects associated with the presidency, White House, and first ladies; inaugural items; material associated with national political figures and events; home front and civil defense material; national symbols; and items related to government policies and organizations. The reform movements collections include material that documents women’s history and suffrage, civil rights, labor history, and groups and individuals that have organized and demonstrated around political, social, economic, and international issues throughout American history.