About the Collection

The Sid Lapidus '59 Collection on Liberty and the American Revolution features books, pamphlets and prints representing the major themes of Lapidus's collecting: the intellectual origins of the American Revolution; the Revolution itself; the early years of the republic; the resulting spread of democratic ideas in the Atlantic world; and the effort to abolish the slave trade in both Great Britain and the United States.

Presented here are scanned and text-searchable copies of an initial portion, more than 360 items. During 2021 and thereafter, more scanned books will be added, eventually covering the entire collection of more than 2200 items.

Historical note: On the occasion of Mr Lapidus’s gift to the Library in 2009, it published an illustrated color-printed 200 page catalogue, the main portions of which are now available as PDF files. Colleagues at the Gilder Lehrman Insititue for American History selected documents from the scanned Lapidus collection and created supportive materials for school curriculum. During 2013 and 2014, the Library added scans of more than 85 books on the topics of slavery and the slave trade in the empires of Great Britain and France. In 2014, those 85+ books were gifted as part of a founding collection of more than 400 books for the Lapidus Center for the Historical Analysis of Transatlantic Slavery at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library.