SIA RU204001, National Portrait Gallery (U.S.) Charles Willson Peale Papers, Research Files, 1735-1885

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  • The Peale Family Papers contain photocopies of documents collected worldwide by the staff, including Charles Willson Peale Revolution-era diaries, travel diaries, museum records, lectures and autobiography; family writings; Titian Ramsay Peale journals documenting the Long expedition, 1819-1820, and the United States Exploring Expedition (Wilkes), 1837-1842; Benjamin Franklin Peale's writings about coins, medals, and the United States Mint; files on the portraiture and still life paintings of Sarah Miriam Peale, the portraits of Raphaelle Peale and James Peale, and on the miniatures of Anna Claypoole Peale; and Rembrandt Peale's writing on the mastodon, as well as materials on his portraits. NOTE: These papers are located in the National Portrait Gallery.
  • Peale Family Papers staff assemble and prepare the documents by indexing, annotating, and editing them. They create research files that include genealogies, newspaper articles, and biographical information on portrait sitters and correspondents of the Peales.


  • Miller, Lillian B
  • Schaffer, Michael D
  • Hart, Sidney
  • Peale, Anna Claypoole 1791-1878
  • Ward, David C
  • Reinhardt, Leslie Kaye
  • Peale, Sarah Miriam 1800-1885
  • Peale, Charles Willson 1741-1827
  • Peale, James 1749-1831
  • Peale, Raphaelle 1774-1825
  • Peale, Rembrandt 1778-1860
  • Peale, Titian Ramsay 1799-1885

Other title



  • The Peale Family Papers project was established in 1974 as the Papers of Charles Willson Peale and his Family. Initial funds came from the Smithsonian Institution and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), with an endorsement from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. Additional two year funding was provided in 1976 by the Smithsonian, NEH, and the Andrew Mellon Foundation. In 1978 Congress appropriated full funding for the project through the budget of the National Portrait Gallery. The name of the project was changed to the Peale Family Papers in 1984.
  • The Peale Family Papers was organized to collect, study, and publish in microform and book editions the papers of Charles Willson Peale, artist, naturalist, inventor, and founder of the first important museum in North America, and his family. The papers and research document the history of art, science, and family life in America from 1735 to 1885, with an emphasis on the history and culture of the northeast region, particularly Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and New York.
  • Lillian B. Miller has been Editor since the beginning of the project. Michael D. Schaffer was Assistant Editor, 1974-1977. Sidney Hart has served successively as Research Historian, 1976-1977, Assistant Editor, 1977-1986, Associate Editor, 1986-1991, and Senior Associate Editor, 1991- . David C. Ward has served as Research Historian, 1982-1986, Assistant Editor, 1986-1991, and Associate Editor, 1991- . Leslie Reinhardt became Editorial Assistant in 1991.
  • In 1980, a microfiche edition of The Collected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and his Family was published. In 1983 the project published the first volume of a planned seven-volume letterpress edition of The Selected Papers of Charles Willson Peale and His Family.
  • (1) Calendar of all letters from 1735 to 1827, arranged chronologically; (2) card indexes in chronological order, and by subject and family member, thereunder.
  • For a further history of the creating unit, refer to the highlighted note "Forms part of" above.


(1) Master document files arranged chronologically; (2) research files; (3) Rembrandt Peale catalogue raisonne files; (4) Sarah Miriam Peale catalogue raisonne files; (5) painting files for various Peale artists

Repository Loc.

National Portrait Gallery, Washington, DC


  • 1735
  • 1735-1885

Restrictions & Rights

(1) Restricted; (2) the records are located at the Peale Family Papers, National Portrait Gallery



  • Mixed archival materials
  • Collection descriptions

Local number

SIA RU204001

Physical description

44.1 linear meters

Full Record

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