The library’s special collections highlight the lives of George and Martha Washington as well as the Washington and Custis families. The collection includes letters to and from George and Martha Washington; ledgers, farm books, and account books related to Mount Vernon; family collection such as: the Peter Family Archives, Bushrod Washington Family Papers, Eleanor Parke Custis Papers, and Lawrence Lewis Papers; and a rare book collection including some volumes from George Washington’s library.
The archives of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association holds the historic institutional records of the organization dating back to its founding in 1853. The archival collections include Minutes of the Council, Annual Reports, visitor log books, publications, correspondence, financial documents, administrative and departmental files, oral histories, and audio-visual material. Material is open for research 30 years after document or file date.
Visual Resources provide a pictorial timeline of the history of the estate and the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The collection includes born analog materials (photographic prints, glass negatives, lantern slides, 35mm film, sheet film, etc.) as well as born digital material. The imagery captures a variety of subject matter including the Mansion and estate, events, exhibitions, gardens, visitors, personnel, objects, livestock, and historic sites.