The Manuscripts Division of the Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library contains nearly 6,000 linear feet of documentary material in five major collection areas: Rutherford B. Hayes and the Hayes Family; The Gilded Age; Local History and Local Government; The Great Lakes and the Erie Islands; and Special Collections.

For one hundred years, the Hayes Presidential Library and Museums actively has collected, preserved, and made available for research its rich and diverse holdings, spanning academic, local, family, and Great Lakes history. Individuals and groups are welcome from the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m, Monday through Saturday.  Contact: Curator of Manuscripts, Julie Mayle, Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, Spiegel Grove, Fremont, Ohio 43420. 1/800-998-7737, ext. 239. Email: [email protected] 



The Rutherford B. Hayes Papers, the heart of the Manuscript Collections, include Hayes' diaries, personal and political correspondence, speeches, news clippings, government records, legal notes, business papers, and military records. Extending from his school days until his death in 1893, the Hayes Papers offer a reflection of the 19th President's public and private life as well as his scholarly interests: politics, the presidency, American history, education, prison reform, law, literature, genealogy, and veterans' welfare.

A thorough index, typed transcripts, microfilm, and web site resources provide easy accessibility. More than 7,000 images, many carefully compiled into albums by President Hayes, provide a visual record of generations of Hayes family members and the evolution of Spiegel Grove. The President's personal library and the Hayes Presidential Center's 75,000-volume Gilded Age history collection complement the 700 linear feet of manuscript material, increasing the understanding of and appreciation for the period in which Hayes lived.



The Gilded Age collections illuminate the lives of some of the period's leading political figures and the activities of its social and political organizations. Hayes' cabinet is represented by the papers of Secretary of State William Evarts, Secretary of Treasury John Sherman, Secretary of War George McCrary, and Naval Secretary R. W. Thompson. Other prominent politicians represented in the collection include Supreme Court Justice Stanley Matthews, diplomat Edwin Stoughton, Civil War financier Jay Cooke, and Massachusetts legislator William Claflin. Historical materials from authors Benson J. Lossing and William Dean Howells, journalist Mary Clemmer Ames, Toledo Blade editor Robinson Locke, editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast, Harper's editor George W. Curtis, and General George Crook offer insights into the nation's political and social thought during the Gilded Age.



Focusing on Sandusky County and Northwest Ohio, more than 400 manuscript collections document the lives of individuals as well as businesses and organizations. Comprised of family papers, Civil War memoirs, diaries, letters, photographs, genealogies, maps, and records, the materials document the area's history from the early settlement period into the twentieth century.




The Great Lakes and the Erie Islands

Intensely interested in the local history of the Erie Islands and Lake Erie's western basin, the late Charles E. Frohman developed a significant research collection of original manuscripts, cartographics, and books, as well as some 20,000 photographs. From commercial shipping and ice harvesting to environmental research, early aviation and island leisure activities, the Frohman documentary materials richly depict the social and economic life of the communities along Lake Erie's south shoreline and the Erie Islands.



 The Manuscripts Division holds a number of collections whose subject matter falls outside the division's major collecting areas. Categorized as Special Collections, they include subjects as diverse as croquet, early aviation, U.S. election memorabilia, family bibles, railroads, and U.S. Presidents.




 The Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Library and Museums hold local government records for a number of   political   subdivisions. Nearly all of the textual files relate to the county, municipalities, and townships of Sandusky County, Ohio, while many of the microfilm records are associated with counties of Northwest Ohio. The records   are available   for public use during regular hours. Additional records for Sandusky County and adjacent counties may be found at the Center for Archival Collections, located at the Jerome Library on the campus of Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Charged with carrying out Ohio's Local Government Records Program, the Center for Archival Collections is the official repository for the public records of the nineteen counties that make up Northwest Ohio.



 The Miscellaneous Manuscripts consist of original documentary materials too small in size to categorize as a collection. In terms of subject matter, the Miscellaneous Manuscripts focus on individuals and organizations prominent in the state of Ohio and throughout the nation during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.