Campaign priority

Securing Jefferson’s Treasures

Campaign priority

Securing Jefferson’s Treasures

At Monticello, our visitors are inspired by the illusion that Thomas Jefferson has just left the room. To tour the House is to take a step back in time—our team of expert curators has interpreted each space to appear much as it did during Jefferson’s retirement.

For more than 90 years, the Foundation has been working to locate and acquire the world’s foremost collection of Jefferson’s objects. Roughly 5,000 items are held in trust at Monticello; they form the bedrock of the visitor tour experience, and draw scholars from around the world.

Every piece in the collection has something to say to us.

Monticello’s curatorial team is responsible for the care of a diverse range of holdings—including fine and decorative arts, specimens of natural history, maps, books, scientific instruments, Native American materials, writing and drafting implements, musical instruments, and personal items such as clothing and pocket accessories. Currently, two-thirds of the objects on display at Monticello are original to the House. Highly-individualized care and maintenance are required to preserve this collection for future generations.

We frequently encounter opportunities to secure Jefferson’s belongings, some of which remain in private ownership today. The success of the Foundation’s acquisitions program relies on our ability to act quickly.

The recent restoration and interpretation of Mulberry Row and the upper floors of the House grew the Foundation’s “wish list” of authentic objects.

Campaign support enabled the acquisition of appropriate furnishings and artifacts to bring historic spaces to life for our visitors.

All Priorities


Conservation of John Locke portrait Endowment support for acquisitions Acquisition of one of Jefferson's copies of the Federalist Papers

Every gift matters.