Catalogs & Guides

Manuscript materials

The following are the major points of access into the APS manuscripts collections:

  1. MOLE: Manuscripts On-Line. MOLE is a full-text searchable XML database developed with XTF. MOLE contains abstracts (brief descriptions) of all collections with links to complete EAD finding aids. It is an updated version of Stephen Catlett's, A New Guide to the Collections in the American Philosophical Society (Philadelphia, 1986).

    Catlett's printed Guide is now out of date, but does contain a selective subject index.

  2. Specialized subject guides and bibliographies, many of which have been converted for online access and are available here. The APS website includes a listing of in-depth bibliographies of APS manuscript collections relating to a variety of specific topics, including African American history, American Indian history and culture, history of medicine, genetics, biochemistry and physiology, and quantum physics. Many of the online guides feature links directly to finding aids contained in MOLE.

  3. Published "Papers". The APS has contributed materials to a number of "papers" projects -- print or on-line compendium of the writings of an individual. The APS holdings for Benjamin Franklin and Charles Darwin are, or will be, completely published, and we have contributed to the papers of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, James Madison, Melville Herskovits, and many others. Most recently, we have cooperated with the National Library of Medicine to make selected portions of the Barbara McClintock Papers available on line.

Printed materials

Our entire collection of printed materials is indexed and fully searchable through VOLE: The Vaughan Online Catalog. VOLE contains bibliographic records of all books, periodicals, newspapers, and broadsides held by the APS. A particular benefit of the APS catalog is that it contains selected records of articles within periodicals and edited volumes. VOLE also provides access to abstract entries for many manuscript collections and bibliographic data with thumbnails for selected images.

Search the catalog

A large number of specialized bibliographies are available in printed form at the APS and at most major research libraries. While the majority of these bibliographies refer to manuscript collections, some also cover printed materials. We have provided an online inventory of these bibliographies for the convenience of researchers.

Questions regarding the graphics holdings may be directed to the manuscripts [at] amphilsoc [dot] org or books [at] amphilsoc [dot] org.