A Finding Aid to the Samuel F. B. Morse Papers, 1826-2009, bulk 1826-1871, in the Archives of American Art
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
AAA.morsesam
Creators:
Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 1791-1872
Dates:
1826-2009
bulk 1826-1871
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.4 Linear feet
Repository:
The papers of painter and inventor Samuel F. B. Morse date from 1826-2009 (bulk 1826-1871), and measure 0.4 linear feet. This small collection documents Morse's role in the early years of the National Academy of Design through his correspondence as the academy's first president, and also includes scattered biographical material, Morse's writings and notes on art from that period, printed material including clippings about Morse and an exhibition catalog, eight photographs, including one of Morse, and a microfilm reel of one of Morse's sketchbooks.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers of painter and inventor Samuel F. B. Morse date from 1826-2009 (bulk 1826-1871), and measure 0.4 linear feet. This small collection documents Morse's role in the early years of the National Academy of Design through his correspondence as the academy's first president, and also includes scattered biographical material, Morse's writings and notes on art from that period, printed material including clippings about Morse and an exhibition catalog, eight photographs, including one of Morse, and a microfilm reel of one of Morse's sketchbooks.

Arrangement
Arrangement
Due to its small size the collection is arranged as one series.
  • Series 1: Samuel F. B. Morse Papers, 1826-2009 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Portrait painter and inventor Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791-1872), was a founding member of the National Academy of Design who was subsequently known for his invention of the Morse code.
Morse was born in Massachusetts and educated at Yale College. In 1811 he traveled to England and was admitted to the Royal Academy. He returned to the United States in 1815 and began a career as a painter, primarily of portraits.
From 1826-1845 he served as president of the newly founded National Academy of Design in New York City. In the 1830s Morse developed the concept of a single-wire telegraph and the Morse code, and was involved in the growth of the commercial use of telegraphy throughout the world. Morse was also known for his portraits of the Marquis de Lafayette, and presidents John Adams and James Monroe.

Administration
Existence and Location of Copies
The bulk of the collection was digitized in 2019 and is available on the Archives of American Art website. Materials which have not been digitized include blank pages, blank versos of photographs, duplicates, and the microfilm reel. Morse's published book has had only the cover, title pages, and table of contents pages digitized.
Processing Information
The collection was processed and described in a finding aid by Stephanie Ashley in 2018, and digitized in 2019, with funding provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Walton Family Foundation.
Author
Stephanie Ashley
Sponsor
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art and The Walton Family Foundation
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by the National Academy of Design in 2018.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Conditions Governing Use
The Samuel F. B. Morse papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Preferred Citation
Samuel F. B. Morse papers, 1826-2009, bulk 1826-1871. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
The bulk of Samuel F. B. Morse's papers are held by the Library of Congress.

Repository Contact
Archives of American Art
750 9th Street, NW
Victor Building, Suite 2200
Washington, D.C. 20001
https://www.aaa.si.edu/services/questions
https://www.aaa.si.edu/