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Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789

Location: Microfilm J 10 A5 1959


This is a collection of  the records of the Continental and Confederation Congresses from 1774-1789.  It includes “the journals; despatch books; registers of reports from boards, offices and committees; letter books; copies of Indian treaties; copies of ordinances of the Congresses; copies of ordinances and other records relating to the Western Territory of the United States; returns of inhabitants of various States and miscellaneous papers; a record of abridges resolves; reports of the Secretary of Congress; a record book begun by Secretary Thomas after the duties of the Committee of the Week were transferred to him on August 29, 1785.” (Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 guide).  The collection is a microfilm reproduction of the handwritten records.

Several books and microfilm collections have been derived from the Papers of the Continental Congress. Pickler Memorial Library has the following:

American Archives, 4th and 5th Series. General Collection E 203 A5 1972

American State Papers: Indian AffairsMicrofiche Cabinet 27-28.

Indian Affairs, Laws and Treaties.  General Collection  KF 8203 1971

Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789.  Microfilm J 10 A5 1965

Letters of Members of the Continental Congress.  General Collection JK 1033 B8 1963 v. 1-8

Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States of America.  JX 236 1931A v. 1-7.

The Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 are available full text at the Library of Congress American Memory website.

How to search the collection

The Papers of the Continental Congress “are chiefly arranged by type (called Items), such as journals, committee reports, correspondence, memorials, and petitions, and thereunder chronologically or alphabetically. “   The guide  tells you what is in each Item and which roll of microfilm the Item is on.  The guide  also has a subject index which refers you to Item numbers.

There is a reel guide at the beginning of each microfilm reel which is very helpful.

“On the first 7 rolls of the microfilm are two types of indexes that apply to most of the papers.  The first type consists of three separate alphabetical card indexes prepared in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress. The first one, compiled by Dorothy S. Eaton, indexes 73 of the 196 Items of the Papers by name and sometimes by subject.  The second index, compiled by John C. Fitzpatrick, is a name index to Item 78 [Miscellaneous} Letters Addressed to Congress 1775-1789.  The third, compiler unknown, is a name index to Item 195, Oaths of Allegiance, 1776-1789.

The second type of indexes are 8 volumes of  handwritten manuscript indexes.  “Each entry gives the date of a document , type of document, or a brief abstract, the Item number and the volume and page numbers.  Entries are arranged alphabetically by the initial letter of the name of the writer or of the person or subject to which the document refers.” (Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 guide)


Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789 (Microfilm J 10 A5 1959 Guide).