Endow writing that is meaningful to you or a reader you know as a Guardian of American Letters.

“The minute I held Library of America’s Parkman volume — even before I read it — I knew I would become its Guardian.”—Andrea G. Stillman Guardian of Francis Parkman: The Oregon Trail, The Conspiracy of Pontiac Adopted in memory of her aunt, Mary Riepma Ross (1910–2013)

You can have a permanent association with a great American writer by adopting a Library of America volume through the Guardians of American Letters Fund. The volume you select will be kept permanently in print and preserved for generations to come.

Your endowment of a volume can express your own admiration for an author or body of writing or it can pay tribute to a loved one’s interests, avocation, or life’s work. You can adopt a volume in honor of a reader or in memory of a friend, family member, or mentor.

Guardians and individuals they designate are recognized on a special acknowledgment page in the front of the volume of their choice. This acknowledgment will appear in every future printing of the book.

How to Become a Guardian

Review the list of volumes available for adoption and select one or more writers or volumes that have personal significance for you or someone close to you.

Notify Library of America that you are considering adopting a volume. Library of America staff are happy to assist you in making your selection and will send you a sample acknowledgment page so that you may see how your commitment will be recognized in perpetuity.

Pledging a Gift to the Guardians Fund

The pledge to become a Guardian is $50,000, payable by either cash or stock donation. The pledge is typically paid all at once but may be paid in two equal installments over two years. If you would like to arrange payment in installments, Library of America staff will customize a payment schedule for you.

You may also adopt a volume by making a gift as part of your estate plan. If you would like information about this type of bequest and wording for your will, please consult with Caroline Horn, Director of Institutional Advancement or Cheryl Hurley, President of Library of America, at 212.308.3360 or contact us.

Our Guardians

Of the nearly 300 volumes published in The Library of America Series to date, about half have been adopted by Guardians, leaving many “orphans” awaiting adoption. The list is always changing, as more Guardians endow volumes, and newly published volumes are added.

Many types of tribute are possible through participation in the Guardians of American Letters Fund.

Whatever dedication you choose, by becoming a Guardian, you signal your interest in American writing and American history and you enable some of the words that shaped our nation to be preserved for generations to come.

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From poetry, novels, and memoirs to journalism, crime writing, and science fiction, the more than 300 volumes published by Library of America are widely recognized as America’s literary canon.


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