The Evolution of the Conservation Movement, 1850-1920

Materials from the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress

The Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress is represented in this collection by two documents of exceptional cultural importance: a report prepared by Frederick Law Olmsted in 1865, that articulates for the first time a systematic philosophy for scenic wilderness preservation in a democratic society; and a private souvenir album documenting the 1899 Harriman Alaska Expedition, that captures in a single bountifully-illustrated artifact much of the essence of the cultural ethos, scientific outlook, social and economic milieux, and distinctive individual talents from which the leadership of the early conservation movement emerged.

Those who are able to visit the Library in person may also be interested in the following preliminary list of individuals whose personal and (in some cases) official papers constitute substantial original holdings in the Manuscript Division and shed light on the American conservation movement in this era:

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