by National Archives
AASLH Institutional Member since 1987
Last month, the National Archives launched the Founders Online website http://founders.archives.gov/. This free online tool brings together the papers of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison in a single website that gives a first-hand account of the growth of democracy and the birth of the Republic.
Founders Online was created through a cooperative agreement between the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the National Archives, and The University of Virginia (UVA) Press.
Founders Online includes thousands of documents, replicating the contents of 242 volumes drawn from the published print editions. As each new print volume is completed, it will be added to this database of documents.
In addition, all of the unpublished and in-process materials (about 55,000 documents) will be posted online over the next three years. Researchers will be able to view transcribed, unpublished letters as they are being researched and annotated by the editors and staff.
Altogether, some 175,000 documents are projected to be on the Founders Online site. This website promises to be of immense value for the public’s ability to understand the world and intentions of the nation’s founders. It will also provide a bold economic, educational, and technical model that will provide important lessons as we plan future efforts for online publication of historical materials.
For more information on the project, visit the National Archives website.