(Full versions of posts concerning Rotunda; for an abbreviated display, you can view the Rotunda category page.)
- New Rotunda content: Jefferson, Madison, Washington June 18, 2013
We have added new content to our Rotunda Founding Era collection representing a total of nearly 20,000 documents, from the papers of Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington.
Papers of Thomas Jefferson Retirement Series
The full contents of volumes 5–7 of the Jefferson Retirement Series are now in Rotunda, including front matter, index entries, and illustrations (permissions allowing). Totaling over 1600 documents, these volumes cover the period from May 1812 through September 1814, coinciding with the major portion of the War of 1812. Jefferson advises the Madison administration on conduct of the war as well as domestic matters, administers Monticello amidst legal problems, discusses patents and the life of Meriwether Lewis, and begins to develop plans for the University of Virginia. The volumes also contain about fifty letters from the correspondence between Jefferson and John Adams that had resumed at the start of 1812.
In addition, the underlying XML files for volumes 1–4 have been revised by staff at the Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series, incorporating corrections and providing higher-resolution pointers from index entries to document locations.
Early Access Madison and Washington documents
Thanks to the “Early Access” transcription program under way at Documents Compass, we are able to add to our Rotunda collection about 18,000 documents from the Madison and Washington Papers projects that have not yet appeared in published volumes:
- 5788 documents from the Madison Papers, covering 1806–March 1809 and March 1814–March 1817 (the end of his time as secretary of state, and the last portion of his presidency)
- 12,240 documents from the Washington Papers, covering March 1780–December 1783 and April 1796–March 1797 (the latter portion of his Revolutionary War career, and the last year of his second term as president)
Rotunda’s Early Access documents are made freely available to the public. Customers who have purchased one or more of our Founding Era publications will note that EA documents are integrated into the results of any searches they do across the collection.
- Founders Online Launches June 12, 2013
The University of Virginia Press announces this week the launch of Founders Online, a website offering free access to the papers of six of the most important figures from America’s founding era—George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and Benjamin Franklin. The site will make nearly 120,000 documents freely accessible to the public. Developed by the Press’s electronic imprint, Rotunda, Founders Online will be officially launched at a ceremony at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. on June 13. University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan will offer remarks on this unique collaboration between the Archives and the University.
Starting in 2011, Rotunda staff began developing the Founders Online platform under a cooperative agreement with the National Archives of the United States’ grant-making arm, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). The content is derived from two sources: our Rotunda American Founding Era collection, based on published letterpress editions, and transcriptions of thousands of documents being made available on a “pre-press” basis thanks to the Early Access program undertaken by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities’ Documents Compass program.
Founders Online will include thousands of documents, replicating the contents of 242 volumes of the published print editions. As each new print volume is completed, it will be added to the database. All of the “Early Access” materials—an additional 55,000 unpublished and in-process documents—will be posted online over the next three years. Students and researchers will be able to view transcribed, unpublished letters as they are being researched and annotated by the documentary project editors and staff. Together, some 175,000 documents are projected to be on the Founders Online site.
“UVa Press is honored to be working with the NHPRC on Founders Online,” said Mark H. Saunders, Interim Director of the University of Virginia Press. “This resource brings together the papers of six major founders in a user-friendly website that gives Americans and people around the world a first-hand account of the historic conversation that formed our democracy and allowed our country to thrive.”
“This resource will be of immense value for the public to understand both the world and intentions of the nation’s founders,” said Kathleen Williams, Executive Director of the NHPRC. “Founders Online provides a bold economic, educational, and technical model that will yield important lessons as we plan for future online publication of historical materials.”
Founders Online represents the cumulative work of hundreds of historians, editors, publishers, and (more recently) computer programmers over the decades since the first modern documentary editions began with the publication in 1950 of the first volume of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson by Princeton University Press.
We wish especially to acknowledge the current and former UVAP staff members and collaborators who have made Founders Online possible. Thanks to former Rotunda staffers John Carlson and Mary Ann Lugo, who oversaw much of the digitization and XML conversion, under the guidance of editorial and technical manager David Sewell; Rotunda senior programmers Shannon Shiflett and Tim Finney, who developed the original delivery platform used in our Rotunda Founding Era collection; Rotunda editorial and technical specialist Markus Flatscher, who oversaw the bulk of our digital conversion and handled the XSLT conversion of files received from the Jefferson Retirement Series into our own XML format; editorial assistant Virginia (Annie) Kinniburgh for proofreading and formatting; former UVA Press director Penny Kaiserlian and current interim director Mark Saunders, who handled the negotiations for our collaborative agreement with the NHPRC; and The Ivy Group of Charlottesville, for initial design requirements, user surveys, mockups, and prototypes—the look and feel of Founders Online owes much to their work. All of the XML data analysis and conversion and MarkLogic XQuery/XSLT programming for the new Founders Online platform have been done by David Sewell and Tim Finney.
We could not have completed our digital editions without assistance from the Founding Fathers projects: Jeff Looney, Susan Spengler, and Lisa Francavilla of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson—Retirement Series; Mary Jo Kline, who served as the editorial consultant for our work with the Papers of Alexander Hamilton; Ted Crackel (retired) and Jennifer Stertzer at the Papers of George Washington; Sara Sikes and her staff at the Adams Papers; Martha King at the Papers of Thomas Jefferson; John Stagg and David Mattern of the Madison Papers; and Alysia Cain of the Franklin Papers and her graduate assistant, Michael Hattem.
Finally, we recognize the invaluable assistance of our third-party vendors and the creators of software that we use: HCL America for their XML conversion; MarkLogic, which produces the native XML database platform that delivers Founders Online; and IBM Global Business Services, partnering with SOASTA, performed state-of-the-art load testing on the completed FO platform. Our work with large and complex XML datasets would be much more difficult without the excellent software provided by SyncRO Soft, the creators of oXygenXML and Michael Kay, creator of Saxon.
A video about the making of Founders Online may be viewed below or through this link.
- Adams Papers: Three new volumes in ROTUNDA April 26, 2013
We have released three new digital editions of volumes from the Adams Papers project (sponsored by the Massachusetts Historical Society and published by Harvard University Press) in Rotunda’s Adams Papers Digital Edition. As for previously released volumes in the Adams Papers, we include the full textual content of the letterpress volumes and all graphics for which permission is available, and a hyperlinked version of the indexes for each volume.
New in this release, and added to all previous volumes of the Adams Papers Digital Edition, are mouseover expansions of all of the Adams family code abbreviations used in the edition (such asfor Abigail Adams [1765–1813], daughter of John and Abigail).
Adams Family Correspondence, volume 8, drawing from nearly 250 letters, follows the Adams family from March 1787 to the close of 1789. The correspondence covered in this volume evokes a period of transition both for both the nation and the Adams family. John Adams made the transition from the first Minister to the Court of St. James to first Vice President of the United States under the new Constitution, after only a brief respite at their newly acquired farm in Quincy, which John Adams named Peacefield. Meanwhile, their daughter Nabby, married in 1786, gave birth to John and Abigail’s first grandchildren, and their sons, John Quincy, Charles, and Thomas Boylston, furthered their studies at Harvard and embarked on their own legal careers.
Volume 9 of the Adams Family Correspondence chronicles the early years of the American republic under the new Constitution with Vice President John Adams faithfully presiding over the Senate. Internationally, the United States faced diplomatic challenges as the outbreak of the French Revolution raised questions about the position and response the nation should take in regard to both France and Europe in general. On the domestic front, all of the Adams children completed their transition to adulthood, with the youngest son, Thomas Boylston, graduating from Harvard. The correspondence of the children, both among themselves and to their parents, takes center stage in this volume of nearly 300 letters spanning from January 1790 to December 1793 and reveals not only their sentiments on national and world events, but also the intimate details of family and farm.
The 350 letters of The Papers of John Adams, volume 14, explore the slow and difficult diplomatic conclusion to the American Revolutionary War from October 1782 to May 1783. Wary of France’s motives and desirous of establishing a fully independent way, John Adams and the American Peace Commissioners determined to strike a peace with Great Britain separate from France, but issues ranging from loyalists to fishing rights slowed progress. Meanwhile, Adams continued his role as minister to the Netherlands overseeing the distribution of funds of the Dutch-American loan, followed fifteen-year-old John Quincy’s long journey from St. Petersburg to The Hague, and took a keen interest in how best to write an accurate history of the American Revolution. As always, Adams’s letters reveal a wealth of insight into not only the history of the period but his own thought processes.
(UVA Press wishes to thank Sara Sikes of the Adams Papers, and her staff, for assistance with proofreading of the digital volumes.)
- Dolley Madison Digital Edition: 300 New Documents April 24, 2013
Our Dolley Madison Digital Edition, edited by Holly C. Shulman, has been updated with 300 new documents, 360 additional identifications of people, places, and terms, and six new editorial essays exploring aspects of Dolley’s life during her widowhood in the 1840s.
This latest installment of the DMDE takes the reader through 1844 and the sale of Montpelier, the Madisons’ estate in Orange County, Virginia. In 1844 Dolley finally realized that her debts (and those of her son, John Payne Todd) had become too great for her to continue running the property; her only choice was to sell. This she did to a Richmond merchant with local family connections, Henry Wood Moncure. After 1844 Dolley would never again return to Virginia. As of this installment the reader has now twenty editorial essays on topics ranging from the enslaved community at Montpelier to the nineteenth-century “autographomania” that led collectors to seek out James and Dolley Madison’s signatures. Among the new biographical identifications are entries on nearly twenty members of the Montpelier slave community. Also new are three high-resolution images of Montpelier survey plats from the Orange County Courthouse that accompany an editorial essay by Ann L. Miller.
The images in the gallery below are scans of plats based on surveys in preparation for the sale of the Montpelier estate. The largest plat, covering two pages, includes the entire plantation and immediate surroundings.
Forthcoming installments of the DMDE will focus on Dolley’s life after her return to Washington, DC, locally honored and publicly feted, while privately still struggling to keep herself financially afloat.
- The Creation of the First Lady March 14, 2013
Holly Shulman—editor of the Dolley Madison Digital Edition and coeditor of the forthcoming People of the Founding Era—took part in James Madison University’s presidential inauguration festivities by delivering a new lecture, “Dolley Madison and the Creation of the First Lady.” Shulman, who is also coeditor of The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison, explained that Dolley was hardly immune to criticism—few first ladies are—but that she persevered to become a great stabilizing force for her husband and for his White House. She also played an enormous role in shaping our idea of what a first lady should be.
- ROTUNDA new titles for ACRL March 1, 2013
People of the Founding Era
The latest addition to our American Founding Era collection, this resource provides biographical information for thousands of individuals active during a crucial period in our history. Beginning with 12,000 but eventually expanding to over 60,000 people born between 1713 and 1815, the subjects include members of many of the most important families of the era, as well as many people—including artisans, slaves, and Native Americans—whose lives are not typically documented in historical archives. Historians, genealogists, and all students of American history will find this the most authoritative biographical dictionary of the period. For more information about this publication, please go here.
The Society of Architectural Historians’ Buildings of the United States series is one of the most valuable resources for a comprehensive view of each state’s most notable buildings. Now ROTUNDA brings this content online in this richly illustrated, peer-reviewed digital resource. Including over 11,000 entries in its first installment, SAH Archipedia features all of the material from the print edition plus exclusive online content, with over 8,000 illustrations (many in color), mapping functionality, and a powerful XML-based search.
The Digital Temple
George Herbert’s The Temple is considered one of the finest collections of devotional verse in the English language and among the most significant works of early modern literature. The Digital Temple brings together the primary materials essential to the study of Herbert’s English verse and presents them in a user-friendly online environment. This digital edition includes complete diplomatic and normalized transcriptions of the two known manuscripts of The Temple, in addition to a copy of the 1633 first edition. The 700 pages of high-resolution scans include each document in its entirety. For more information, read this.
Check It Out
ACRL attendes, please visit us at Booth #640 to see a demonstration of these titles. You may also apply for a free trial of our entire ROTUNDA selection of digital titles. Contact Jason Coleman, ROTUNDA marketing manager, for pricing and availability at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-924-1450.
- New in Rotunda: Papers of George Washington, Presidential 16 February 14, 2013
This volume contains over 500 documents from 1 May through 30 September 1794. During this period, Washington and his cabinet faced foreign policy challenges connected with the ongoing war in Europe, including embargo evasions, activity by British and French privateers. Fears persisted of a potential war with Great Britain, even as envoy John Jay began negotiations with the British.
On the domestic front, conflict with Indians and the activities of Spain and Great Britain remained concerns. But the major event was the transformation of opposition to the whiskey excise tax into the violent outbreaks in western Pennsylvania that have become known as the Whiskey Rebellion. As this volume closes, President Washington himself is departing Philadelphia to join federal troops marshaled against the rebels.
As always, UVA Press thanks Jennifer Stertzer, associate editor with The Papers of George Washington.
- Rotunda website has moved to a new home January 3, 2013
In 2004, what had been known since its establishment two years earlier as the “Electronic Imprint” of UVA Press was branded as “Rotunda”, and we produced our first website to go along with it, at
rotunda.upress.virginia.edu. With a design by Bill Covert centered on an award-winning logo, the site has served us well for eight years as the public face of Rotunda and a gateway to our publications.
But with the new year, we have moved all of our general descriptive content about Rotunda to a hierarchy under thetab on the Press website (above on the menu bar). We’re doing this for several reasons: to avoid maintaining parallel designs, to allow more Press staff to edit Rotunda content via our WordPress interface, and above all to integrate Rotunda projects more closely with the rest of the Press’s publications.
Rotunda publications themselves will remain at their existing URLs (usually underneath rotunda.upress.virginia.edu, sometimes under separate hostnames), and our entrance page to all the publications—the URL you’ll want to bookmark for access—continues to be http://rotunda.upress.virginia.edu/entrance.xqy. A few other pages performing services that cannot be provided via WordPress will stay where they are as well.
- The Digital Temple December 18, 2012
Rotunda, the electronic imprint of the University of Virginia Press, announces the release of its latest digital publication: Edited by Robert Whalen and Christopher Hodgkins, The Digital Temple is a complete edition of George Herbert’s 1633 The Temple: Sacred Poems and Private Ejaculations. It includes not only an annotated transcription of the first edition, but also complete transcriptions of the two manuscript witnesses (Williams MS. Jones B62, Bodleian MS. Tanner 307), accompanied by high-resolution images of the original manuscript and printed pages. The display of individual poems allows readers to view two or three witnesses of the poem in parallel columns, and to select among three different ways of viewing annotation.
With the addition of George Herbert to our publications, we have renamed our “Nineteenth-Century Literature and Culture” collection as Literature and Culture to reflect its expansion into seventeenth-century England.
- SAH Archipedia Now Online October 10, 2012
The University of Virginia Press announces this week the launch of Rotunda’s SAH Archipedia, an online resource developed in collaboration with the Society of Architectural Historians. A richly illustrated, peer-reviewed database, SAH Archipedia offers a comprehensive view of some of the most notable architecture in the United States. This new resource examines thousands of buildings in the context of their communities and landscapes, explores all the forces that shaped them—from the aesthetic to the historical, economic, and geographical—and presents them in a fully searchable XML-based environment.
Drawn from the award-winning Buildings of the United States (BUS) series, SAH Archipedia includes histories and thematic essays on Massachusetts (Metropolitan Boston), Rhode Island, Pennsylvania (Eastern and Western), the District of Columbia, Virginia (Tidewater and Piedmont), West Virginia, Michigan, Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, and Alaska. This cross-section of the country demonstrates the richness and diversity of architecture and building practice across many centuries, from mud brick to steel, from ancient cliff dwellings to contemporary office towers.
“SAH Archipedia is an innovative new online publication that we hope will be used by everyone who is interested in exploring the history of American architecture,” said Pauline Saliga, Executive Director of the Society of Architectural Historians. “The University of Virginia Press has once again shown why it is considered the leading university press in pursuit of innovation in the digital humanities.”
Published by Rotunda—the digital imprint of the University of Virginia Press— SAH Archipedia contains more than 8,500 building entries, 6,000 photographs and drawings, 4,300 individual architects and firms, 1,300 unique building types, and hundreds of periods, styles, and building materials, each tagged as a search facet for discovery. All search results and individual entries appear on dynamically generated maps. The site also includes the interpretive introductions from the first twelve volumes published in print. This legacy material from the BUS volumes will be supplemented with original digital content created and edited in an online authoring environment, yielding entries that will ultimately encompass all 50 states.
“SAH Archipedia incorporates the spatial turn in digital humanities for the first time in a Rotunda publication,” said Mark Saunders, Interim Director of the University of Virginia Press. “As a collaboration between a university press and a scholarly society, it represents a new chapter in scholarly communications. From a publishing perspective, the project will be released in a hybrid model, blending licensed and free material, with a commitment to open metadata.”
SAH Archipedia will be released in two complementary versions: a scholars edition for license to libraries, and a free website, SAH Archipedia Classic Buildings, which features over 100 open-access entries on the most important buildings for each state.
“The launch of SAH Archipedia is another step in the development of online scholarly resources that incorporates peer review, contextual information such as maps and satellite images, and tagging that provides further historical context,” said Ann Whiteside, Librarian and Assistant Dean for Information Resources, Frances Loeb Library, Harvard Graduate School of Design. “SAH Archipedia has the potential to transform how architectural history is studied because of the way in which it marries imagery, scholarly rigor, and database searchability within a single resource.”
Libraries interested in acquiring SAH Archipedia for long-term access, please contact Jason Coleman at email@example.com or 434-924-1450. Press inquiries, please contact Emily Grandstaff at firstname.lastname@example.org or 434-982-2932.
Older posts from before 2013 are available in the Rotunda news archive.