The Western Reserve Historical Society has one of the most comprehensive collections documenting the history of the American Civil War in the United States. Largely donated to the historical society by Civil War history collector and WRHS board member William Pendleton Palmer in the decades before his death in 1920, the collection consists of over 7,000 books, over 300 newspapers, and more than 475 manuscript collections. The Civil War collection also contains tens of thousands of photographs. The collection documents the antebellum era in the North and South, including collections that document the institution of slavery and the abolitionist movement in the United States. The Civil War itself is extensively documented through published books, contemporary newspapers, the papers of Union and Confederate soldiers, sailors, and officers, and the records of regiments, hospitals, and governments. The life, political career, and death of Abraham Lincoln are covered extensively as well. While the collection is national in its scope, it includes the papers and photographs of soldiers, officers, clergy members, women, politicians, and government officials from Cleveland and northeast Ohio who were active in the abolitionist movement, served in the Union Army, documented the history of the home front, and developed the United States Sanitary Commission.