Collections & Research
Research Library & Archive
How to Use Our Research Library
The Mark Twain House & Museum maintains a collection of 16,000 museum objects and other artifacts, including an archive of more than 6,000 documents and 5,280 photographic images that were made, received or accumulated by Mark Twain and his family, friends and associates, or by The Mark Twain House & Museum as an institution.
These include books originally in the possession of, and/or annotated by Twain, his family, friends and associates; original manuscript and archival records, including letters and photographs, many of which relate to his residence in Hartford; original photographs, negatives and films; documentation related to the construction, landscaping, furnishings and decoration of the Hartford house; and institutional records of The Mark Twain House, including those related to the restoration of the house.
Archive Usage & Hours
Use of the archive and research library is available by appointment only. You can contact the following people to make an appointment:
What to Expect
No food or drink is allowed in the research library.
Coats and backpacks, purses, and large bags will be placed in an area designated by staff.
Researchers may bring personal note-taking materials, but only pencils, laptops, and tablets can be used in the research library; no pens are permitted.
No personal scanning equipment is allowed. Photocopying service for a fee is available at the discretion of the curator and will be performed by a staff member. Photographic reproduction may be possible for fragile or visual materials.
Our collecting mission focuses on objects, documents, images, and ephemera owned by or related to Samuel Clemens/Mark Twain, his family, friends, and associates, and his various homes, with special focus on the Hartford home. As we are scrupulous about displaying only authentic period items to help interpret the lives of the Clemens family and their servants, the target date for all of these items is 1881-1891.
Donations added to the museum collection through the generosity of individuals help us fulfill our mission as stewards of Mark Twain’s legacy. Our collecting mission focuses on objects and images related to Mark Twain/Samuel Clemens, his family, and his contemporaries.
A phone call or e-mail to a member of our curatorial staff is the best way to ask about a possible donation. This initial conversation can often determine whether your object is appropriate for our collections.
An object under consideration must be approved by the Collections Committee and then by the Board of Trustees.
Donations to the museum are tax deductible; however, you will need to have the value determined by an independent appraiser. For a list of qualified appraisers, visit the Appraisers Association of America at www.appraisersassoc.org.