Library

The Memorial Library at the museum consists of both a recreation of James Monroe’s personal library, and a collection of rare books relating to his life and career. Monroe’s personal library consisted of approximately 3,000 volumes at the time of his death in 1831. He left a handwritten inventory of these books, and from that inventory his great-great-grandson and co-founder of the museum, Laurence Hoes, was able to replicate Monroe’s library, using first editions of the books. 80 books from Monroe’s inventory have been recovered bearing his personal nameplate inside the front cover, indicating that these books were the actual volumes he acquired at different points in his life. The remainder of the Memorial Library, the rare books, cover a wide range of subjects, including science, philosophy, world history and law.