Founded in 1973, the library’s collections include a rich array of printed and manuscript materials documenting the military history of the eighteenth century, with a focus on the people and events of the American Revolution. The Robert Charles Lawrence Fergusson Collection, the largest body of rare printed and manuscript materials in the library holdings, focuses on works relating to the art of war in the period, documenting the conduct of the Revolutionary War and the context of the achievement of the American forces and their French allies in securing the independence of the United States. The library of the American Revolution Institute also includes a broad range of other manuscripts, maps and graphic arts contemporary to the Revolutionary era, as well as the archives of the Society of the Cincinnati. A modern reference collection supports broad research on the era of the American Revolution, and a large collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction and children’s literature presents popular conceptions of the Revolution through time.
As the Institute resides at Anderson House, the former home of Larz and Isabel Anderson, the library also holds books, manuscripts, photographs and other documentary materials that relate to the history of the building and the lives and legacies of its original owners.