Governor Roosevelt, taken in the room of his hotel in Philadelphia, during the Republican National Convention, 1900. olvwork378034

Theodore Roosevelt Collection

(full name/credit line: Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Harvard College Library)


Theodore Roosevelt Collection
Houghton Library
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138


Heather Cole, Curator






Description of repository / collection image holdings:

The Theodore Roosevelt Collection, housed in Harvard's Houghton and Widener libraries, is a major resource for study of the life and times of the 26th president of the United States. The collection originated as a research library opened in New York City by the Roosevelt Memorial Association in 1923. It was presented by that organization (known since 1953 as the Theodore Roosevelt Association) to Harvard University, Roosevelt's alma mater, in 1943. The collection includes manuscripts, archival resources, printed works, pictures, and ephemera relating to both his personal and professional lives.

Images document Roosevelt's career, family, homes, and memorials, including childhood, Harvard years, ranching in Dakota, the Spanish-American War, hunting trips and speech-making tours during the presidency (including a visit to the Panama Canal), his African safari and subsequent European tour of 1909-1910, the Progressive campaign of 1912, the Brazilian expedition of 1913-1914, and war-time speeches. There are formal portraits, newsreel stills, family and souvenir albums, cartes de visite, cabinet cards, panoramic views, and lantern slides.

What we have in VIA:

We are in the relatively early stages of a collection-wide digitization project for most photograph holdings. Excluded, at least at this point, are printed copies of images, items dating after 1922, and photographs in manuscript collections. The estimated number of items is currently 11,000, but as much as feasible, duplicate copies will not be scanned.

All images in the collection are designated by a Roosevelt class number. (For a list see OASIS, quick search trc00007, then under: Classification Scheme--500s.) Because of the highly focused and organized nature of the collection, images though individually cataloged are presented in groups, beginning with albums, then proceeding to special groups (linked by provenance), and ending with a series of general groups. For the first two sets, each group has a specific Roosevelt call number (based on the class number scheme) and overall class number, with an individual class number also assigned to each work (item) record. Thus the class number scheme serves as a subject retrieval device (e.g.: 560.3 (Roosevelt Class No.)) along with conventional subject access. The general groups, consisting of mounted and loose photos of varied provenance, will be organized entirely by class number. There will be approximately fifty groups overall, each signified by and linked from a collection-level record in HOLLIS. These records are collated by the title added entry: Theodore Roosevelt Collection visual material inventories, as well as by a summary record: Theodore Roosevelt Collection visual materials.

It is strongly recommended that for general searches of the database, the search term: olvgroup* be used along with the name of the repository.

Copyright and Permissions:

The material in this collection is owned or held by the Theodore Roosevelt Collection, Harvard College Library. Some of the images, text and other content in VIA (collectively, the "Content") is protected by copyright law. In some cases, the copyright is owned by other parties, and Harvard is making the Content available to you under license or under the fair use doctrine.

The Content is provided for your personal, noncommercial teaching and research use. You may not copy, publish, post, distribute, display, perform, or otherwise make available any of the Content protected by copyright, except as may be permitted under fair use or another copyright law exemption. If you wish to make any such use of the Content, you must obtain permission from the copyright holder, which may be Harvard or another party. Please contact the collection curator.

Some of the Content may be subject to other restrictions - for example, those imposed by a license agreement. You must comply with any other restrictions and terms of use that are identified in connection with particular Content.

In accessing VIA, you agree to use the Content only in accordance with copyright law and any other identified restrictions, and you assume all liability for any copyright infringement caused by your use. Some information on copyright law and fair use for members of the Harvard community can be found at: