The Library of Congress
[American Memory]

"I Do Solemnly Swear...:" Presidential Inaugurations

From Several Divisions of the Library of Congress and Other Institutions

Search by Keyword | Browse by: Inauguration | Subjects
"I Do Solemnly Swear . . .": Presidential Inaugurations is a collection of approximately 400 items or 2,000 digital files relating to inaugurations from George Washington's in 1789 to Barack Obama's inauguration of 2009. This presentation includes diaries and letters of presidents and of those who witnessed inaugurations, handwritten drafts of inaugural addresses, broadsides, inaugural tickets and programs, prints, photographs, and sheet music. The selections are drawn from the Presidential Papers in the Manuscript Division and from the collections of the Prints and Photographs Division, Rare Book and Special Collections Division, Music Division, and the General Collections of the Library of Congress. Additional material has been included from the photography collections of the Architect of the Capitol, the White House, and the United States Senate Office of the Sergeant at Arms. Some items, from records of early sessions of Congress to early films, that are already online in American Memory have been incorporated. An important component is the collaboration with the Avalon Project at the Yale Law School, which permits the site to offer Yale's online presentations of the inaugural addresses from Presidents Washington to Obama with associated searchable text transcriptions. A key objective of this online presentation is to make accessible to the public, many of the treasures and other important primary source materials held by the Library of Congress as well as by other institutions. The collection has been organized chronologically by presidential inauguration and an effort has been made to offer a balanced number of items for each inaugural event.
The mission of the Library of Congress is to make its resources available and useful to Congress and the American people and to sustain and preserve a universal collection of knowledge and creativity for future generations. The goal of the Library's National Digital Library Program is to offer broad public access to a wide range of historical and cultural documents as a contribution to education and lifelong learning.

The Library of Congress presents these documents as part of the record of the past. These primary historical documents reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. The Library of Congress does not endorse the views expressed in these collections, which may contain materials offensive to some readers.

Special Presentations:

Presidential Inaugurations: Historical Insights—A Video Presentation

Presidential Inaugurations: Words and Images

Presidential Oaths of Office

Precedents and Notable Events

Bibles and Scripture Passages

Presidential Inaugurations: A Selected List of References

Understanding the Collection

About the Collection

Related Web Resources

Collection Connections

Working with the Collection

How to View: Audio | Video | Photos

How to Order Photographic Reproductions

Building the Digital Collection

Copyright and Other Restrictions


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