The David Center for the American Revolution integrates the collections of the David Library with that of the APS to create a one-stop-shop for the study of the American Revolution.
The David Library collections consist of approximately 8,000 volumes, 9,000 reels of microfilm, and the large Sol Feinstone manuscript collection. The Sol Feinstone Collection, a rich collection of letters and documents, was assembled by DLAR Founder Sol Feinstone (1888-1980) over a period of fifty years. It includes material on almost all notable Americans from before the Revolution to the 1850s, as well as prominent Europeans and documents relating to military affairs. There are substantial groups of letters from: John Adams, Henry Dearborn, Alexander Hamilton, Jedidiah Huntington, Thomas Jefferson, Lafayette, George Washington, and a long run of letters from a Massachusetts military surgeon named Samuel Adams. Many letters, though written by revolutionary figures, relate to events that occurred before or after the War.
This adds to the APS Library's Early American History Collections, which are particularly strong for the period from 1750 to 1840. In addition to the Benjamin Franklin Papers and the Thomas Paine Collection, the APS has a wide assortment of documents from the revolutionary era. Among these are official government documents and correspondence, military records that range from the Continental Army to Pennsylvania county records, and personal correspondence from various historical actors. Notable collections of correspondence include the Nathanael Greene Papers, the Peale-Sellers Family Collection, the Richard Henry Lee Papers, and the William Temple Franklin Papers.
Of particular note is the record of the American missions to Europe during the American Revolution. The William Temple Franklin Papers, the Arthur Lee Collection, the Benjamin Franklin Papers, and the Benjamin Franklin Bache collections provide a nearly complete window into America’s diplomatic maneuverings in Europe during the American Revolution.