American Founding Era

American Founding Era Collection

Named a “Best Reference 2009” in History by Library Journal

Rotunda’s American Founding Era collection offers scholars and students at all levels an invaluable source of primary and secondary materials by some of the era’s most enduring figures, including George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton. As publications are added to the Founding Era collection, they will become fully interoperable: cross-searchable and navigable as a collection by chronology.

“The space available to me here can’t do full justice to the [American Founding Era Collection]. . . . This is a powerhouse of primary-source documents. . . . A ten!” —Cheryl LaGuardia, Library Journal

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The Marshall PapersThe Papers of John Marshall Digital Edition
Edited by Charles F. Hobson
John Marshall was the longest-serving chief justice on the U.S. Supreme Court and arguably the most influential. This digital edition of Marshall’s papers presents the complete contents in a fully searchable online environment. For students and scholars of law and history, this is the most powerful and accessible way to study the legacy of the “Great Chief Justice.” (Open access through 31 July 2014)

Cornplanter portraitPeople of the Founding Era: A Prosopographical Approach
A publication of Documents Compass
This powerful online resource provides biographical information for thousands of individuals born between 1713 and 1815. Beginning with 12,000 but eventually expanding to over 60,000 people, the subjects include members of many of the most important families of the era, as well as artisans, slaves, and Native Americans. All entries include some biographical data, and many include date and place of birth and death, occupation, gender, and nationality. Many of the entries come directly from the various Papers projects in Rotunda’s American Founding Era collection and, in those cases, link back to the original references within their respective editions.

The Pinckney-Horry PapersThe Papers of Eliza Lucas Pinckney and Harriott Pinckney Horry
Edited by Constance Schulz
Named an Outstanding Academic Title 2013 by the American Library Association’s Choice magazineThe papers of Eliza Lucas Pinckney (1722–1793) and her daughter Harriott Pinckney Horry (1748–1830) document the lives of two observant and articulate founding-era women who were members of one of South Carolina’s leading families. Their letters, diaries, and other documents span nearly a century (1739–1830) and provide a window on politics, social events, and people of the late colonial and early national periods.


The Papers of Alexander Hamilton Digital EditionThe Papers of Alexander Hamilton Digital Edition
Edited by Harold C. Syrett; Mary-Jo Kline, consulting editor for the Digital Edition
Remembered above all as the nation’s first great fiscal voice, Alexander Hamilton is known for the range of his accomplishments, extending into the arenas of diplomacy, warfare, political strategy, and (via Hamilton’s primary authorship of The Federalist Papers) constitutional law. This digital edition of The Papers of Alexander Hamilton contains all twenty-seven volumes of the print edition—all the writings by and to Hamilton known to exist, some 12,500 documents—including all editorial annotations.

The Papers of James Madison Digital EditionThe Papers of James Madison Digital Edition
Edited by J. C. A. Stagg
The Papers of James Madison documents the life and work of one of the most important political and constitutional thinkers in our nation’s history. As chief author of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, secretary of state during the Louisiana Purchase, and the fourth president of the United States, Madison played a central role in the American founding and the growth of the early Republic. This online resource contains all of the content of the print edition and adds to this a powerful XML-based search functionality, linked cross-references, and the ability to navigate chronologically or by series volume.

The Documentary History of the Ratification of the ConstitutionThe Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution
Edited by John P. Kaminski, Gaspare J. Saladino, Richard Leffler, Charles H. Schoenleber and Margaret A. Hogan
This landmark work in historical and legal scholarship draws upon thousands of sources to trace the Constitution’s progress through each of the thirteen states’ conventions. The digital edition allows users to search the complete contents by date, title, author, recipient, or state affiliation and preserves the copious annotations and thorough indexing of the print edition.

The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital EditionThe Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition
Barbara B. Oberg and J. Jefferson Looney, Editors
Crucial to our nation’s history as author of the Declaration of Independence and third president, Thomas Jefferson was also a major figure in the Enlightenment, representing for Europeans the embodiment of the early nineteenth-century American mind. Since 1950, his writings have been compiled in the ongoing project The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. Rotunda’s digital edition brings together all 36 volumes published through 2009 into one searchable online resource. It also includes the first four volumes of the Retirement Series sponsored by the Thomas Jefferson Foundation, which documents the time between Jefferson’s return to private life and his death in 1826. This XML edition includes all the illustrations and bibliographical content of the print edition, with the added convenience of linked cross-references and indexes.

The Adams Papers Digital EditionThe Adams Papers Digital Edition
C. James Taylor, Editor in Chief
Named an Outstanding Academic Title 2009 by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine The definitive record of the nation’s first great political family, The Adams Papers Digital Edition comprises John Adams’s complete diaries, selected legal papers, and the ongoing series of family correspondence and state papers. This XML edition presents in a searchable online environment all 30 volumes of the Adams Papers from the founding generation published through 2006. The contents are fully annotated, feature linked cross-references, and may be accessed by date, series, author, or recipient, as well as through a master index (coming shortly). Future volumes will appear in installments.

Papers of George Washington Digital EditionThe Papers of George Washington Digital Edition
Edward G. Lengel, Director
Named an Outstanding Academic Title 2007 by the American Library Association’s Choice magazine All 59 volumes of the celebrated print edition published through 2009, encompassing five series and the complete diaries, are now available in one XML-based publication. Users may search on full text and by date, author, and recipient. The exceptional indexing of the print volumes is combined here into a single master index, and all internal document cross-references are linked. The content may be navigated by series, date, or index entry.

The Dolley Madison Digital EditionThe Dolley Madison Digital Edition
Edited by Holly C. Shulman

“The digital edition of the Papers of Dolley Madison is one of the most useful, best organized scholarly tools around.  It’s easy to search, easy to browse, and the notes do a terrific job of putting documents in context.  Holly Shulman has made an enormously important contribution to scholarship with this effort.”—Lynne Cheney Containing over 1,300 letters, with another thousand letters to follow in periodic updates, this XML-based archive allows users to perform simple or advanced searches by period, correspondent, or topic. The letters may also be accessed directly through a sortable list or read in chronological order. Proper names link to a glossary that identifies over 2,500 people and places, providing a unique biographical view on the elites of the early Republic.

Founders Early AccessFounders Early Access The Rotunda Founders Early Access project makes available for the first time thousands of unpublished documents from our nation’s founders in a free online resource. Conceived with the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities’ Documents Compass group, Early Access offers readers a backstage pass to a phase of the documentary editing process never before available. Purchasers of any Founding Era publication will have automatic access to these documents as well, fully integrated into the purchased publication(s) for purposes of searching and browsing.

Forthcoming digital archives from Rotunda’s American Founding Era Collection:

The Papers of John Marshall Digital Edition
Marshall’s papers represent a major contribution to American legal and political history. The statesman and jurist had the longest-ever tenure as chief justice of the United States and was central in establishing the role of the Supreme Court in our government. This edition brings together all the content of the multivolume print edition into one online resource.

The Papers of John Jay Digital Edition
Comprised largely of documents unavailable for study until recently, this publication presents the papers of the president of the Continental Congress, coauthor of the Federalist Papers, and first chief justice of the United States. The digital edition contains all content from the print edition and is fully searchable.

The Papers of Andrew Jackson Digital Edition
This project delivers to scholars and students the most important papers of the seventh president of the United States and the dominant figure in American politics between Jefferson and Lincoln. This online version will contain all the content of the print edition, fully annotated and indexed.