In Memoriam: Jennifer Steenshorne

The University of Virginia Press shares in the loss felt by many in the scholarly and documentary editing community at the news of Jennifer Steenshorne’s passing. Many of us were privileged to work with her on several flagship projects, including the select edition of the Papers of John Jay and the comprehensive edition of the Papers of George Washington. On these publications, she demonstrated the inestimable quality to which most editors aspire—the ability to make informed choices about how best to present, contextualize, and annotate documents that make evident the complexities of individual lives, and what these tell us about the wider world in which a particular person lived.

Here and elsewhere, she shared her intuitive understanding of the ways in which such lives can be made comprehensible to a wide range of readers, a quality honed by her expertise in library reference and documentary editing, and enlivened by her insatiable curiosity about the broader scope of history. Beyond conferring about John Jay, George Washington, and the founding generation, we recall lively discussions about such wide-ranging figures as Ann Cary Randolph Morris, George Templeton Strong, and Joseph Urban—wonderful conversations that made evident the breadth of her knowledge and her interests, from the substantive role of women in the early republic to the rigors of the Civil War era to the design of Ziegfeld’s Follies. She will be missed.