Scope and Content
Title: Charles Lanman Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1840-1892
Collection number: 728
Creator: Lanman, Charles, 1819-1895
4 boxes (2 linear ft.)
Abstract: Charles Lanman (1819-1895) was an editor, librarian, and author. He also wrote travel accounts of his explorations in wilderness
areas of the eastern United States, and is best known as the publisher of the
Dictionary of Congress, first issued in 1859. The collection consists of holograph manuscripts of Lanman's published works, portions of two unpublished
manuscript autobiographies, manuscripts of his works on travel in the U.S., and his biographical sketches.
University of California, Los Angeles. Library.
Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department
of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.
Lanman was born on June 14, 1819 in Monroe, Michigan; worked ten years at a business in New York City before returning to
Michigan to edit the
Monroe gazette in 1845; the next year was the associate editor of the
Cincinnati chronicle, and in 1847 was an assistant on the New York express; in 1849 he became librarian of the War Department in Washington, D.C.;
in 1850 he became librarian of copyrights and private secretary of Daniel Webster, and in 1853 examiner of depositories for
the southern states; from 1855-57 he served as librarian and head of the returns office in the Interior Department, in 1866
the librarian of the House of Representatives, and from 1871-82, secretary to the Japanese legation; wrote travel accounts
of his explorations of wilderness areas of the eastern United States; best known as the publisher of the
Dictionary of Congress, first issued in 1859; he died in 1895.
Scope and Content
Collection consists of holograph manuscripts of Charles Lanman's published works, all with revisions for editions that were
never published. Also includes portions of two unpublished manuscript autobiographies. Contains manuscripts of his works on
travel in the U.S. and his biographical sketches.
Expanded Scope and Content
The letters, papers and manuscripts of Charles Lanman (1819-1895) are scattered in a number of repositories throughout the
United States. This small collection of Lanman's writings was purchased in 1960 from W.H. Lowdermilk & Company, booksellers,
Washington, D.C., with the assistance of Dr. E. Maurice Bloch of the Department of Art, UCLA.
Lowdermilk & Company purchased the Charles Lanman Library, and apparently this collection of manuscripts was among the books
in the library. The library has long since been dispersed, however, the manuscripts were retained and were discovered in 1960
by Dr. Bloch in the basement of Lowdermilk & Company, Washington, D.C.
The collection contains some of Lanman's published and unpublished works. Two Lanman letters, purchased by the Library in
1940, have been added to the collection. The following is a register with description of the items in the collection.
James V. Mink
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Lanman, Charles, 1819-1895--Archives.
Authors, American--19th century--Archives.
Librarians--United States--Archival resources.
Travelers' writings, American.
Genres and Forms of Material
Manuscripts for publication.