Digital Editions

A number of scholarly editions, both born digital and converted from print, have successfully published their editions in an electronic environment. We invite you to explore the projects below to find inspiration to help establish your own goals and to consider how other projects have handled challenges in defining scope, establishing editorial methods, organizing content, and transitioning to electronic publication.

Please note that Documents Compass has not been involved in all of these projects, nor is their inclusion here an endorsement, but rather an attempt to provide an overview of them.

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Please send the name of the digital publication you would like to see here to Sue Perdue at ssh8a@virginia.edu.

Digital Editions

Adams Family Papers

The Adams Family Papers is a comprehensive edition of the manuscripts written and received by the family of John Adams. These papers, numbering over 27,000, were published by Harvard University Press. The electronic archive presents images of manuscripts and digital transcriptions of 9 of the 45 volumes in print.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century

Charles S. Peirce Edition Project

The Charles S. Peirce Edition Project is a two-volume online selection of Peirce’s philosophical writings. According to the editors, this selection of pieces is meant to represent his most seminal work. It is a project of the Institute for American Thought at Indiana University, and currently totals 35 documents.

Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century

Clotel: An Electronic Scholarly Edition

Clotel: An Electronic Scholarly Edition offers four versions of the first African American novel, each with a different ending but all published between 1853 and 1867. In addition to the full extant texts, the site offers critical resources, chapter summaries, annotations, collations, and copies of The Weekly Anglo-African.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot

The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot presents the life and legacy of the nineteenth century inventor through his letters (1800-1877). His papers are published by De Montfort University- Leicester and the University of Glasgow. Currently, there are about 10,000 letters available to the public through this site.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Darwin Correspondence Project

The Darwin Correspondence Project offers the full texts of more than 7,000 of Charles Darwin’s letters, and limited information on over 8,000 more. Published by the University of Cambridge, the digitization project offers not only texts but a plethora of interactive material visitors can use to explore the life and legacy of Charles Darwin.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Digital Edition of the Thomas A. Edison Papers

The Digital Edition of the Thomas A. Edison Papers presents Edison’s life and career through his systematic scientific and accounting records and correspondence. The papers, preserved in the Thomas Edison National Historical Park, have been published online through Rutgers University. The site currently houses nearly 175,000 images of documents.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Digital Library on American Slavery

The Digital Library on American Slavery is a cooperative project of the Race & Slavery Petitions Project. It presents a searchable database of information regarding persons and subjects involved in the whole system of slavery, including slaves, slaveholders, and free persons of color in the United States from 1775 to 1867.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century

Documentary History of the Construction of the Buildings at the University of Virginia

The Documentary History of the Construction of the Buildings at the University of Virginia offers documentary resources concerning the construction of Thomas Jefferson’s Academical Village at the University of Virginia, 1817-1828. Published by the University of Virginia, Frank Gizzard’s dissertation includes not only second-hand commentary but Gizzard’s transcriptions of original documents concerning the construction.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution

The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution: Digital Edition offers thousands of sources regarding the Constitution as it traveled through each of the state conventions to ratification. The digital edition, edited by John P. Kraminski, Gaspare J. Saladino, Richard Llefler, Charles H. Schoenleber, and Margaret A. Hogan, is published online by the University of Virginia Press. This edition contains the first twenty volumes of the Ratification series. The print edition, consisting of 24 volumes total, is published by the State Historical Society of Wisconsin.

Time Periods: 18th Century

Dolley Madison Digital Edition

The Dolley Madison Digital Edition presents the life and legacy of Dolley Madison through her correspondence. Her papers were originally published in The Selected Letters of Dolley Payne Madison, edited by David B. Mattern and Holly C. Shulman, and printed by the University of Virginia Press. The Dolley Madison Digital Edition was created for the University of Virginia Press’s Rotunda site, and edited by Holly C. Shulman. This site features the full text of the Dolley Madison correspondence, complete through 1838 and including a total of 1330 documents.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century

Early Republic

The Early Republic is the digital edition of the Documentary History of the First Federal Congress, a Model Editions Partnership project. The digital edition houses over 17,000 documents and 250 images, representing the full text of the First Federal Congress Project. In the future, the Early Republic will also include Digital Editions of other publications relating to the colonial and revolutionary periods.

Time Periods: 18th Century

Einstein Archives Online

The Einstein Archives Online present the life and legacy of the famous scientist and mathematician through his writings- both scientific and biographical. Einstein’s papers, housed at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, have been published online through their partnership with the California Institute of Technology. The site currently houses 87 documents that offer a perspective into both the professional and personal life of Albert Einstein.

Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century

Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project is a compilation of the words and writings of Eleanor Roosevelt. Unlike many digital editions, the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers have an explicit social agenda involved in their presentation. Their mission is to motivate and fuel continued social change and human rights activism by using Eleanor Roosevelts life as a catalyst for future discussion and change.

Time Periods: 20th Century

Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony Papers Project

The Papers of Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony present the lives and legacies of these two nineteenth century reformers through their letters, diaries, and legal documents. Their papers, in six volumes, were edited by Ann F. Gordon and published by Rutgers University. The digital edition site features exhibits and sample documents meant to convey the story of the reformers’ struggle. The site features 28 varied documents selected from 6 volumes.

Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century

Emily Dickinson’s Correspondences

Emily Dickinson’s Correspondences is an online compilation of the poems Emily Dickinson shared in her correspondence with close friends and family. Published through Rotunda at the University of Virginia Press, these documents present a rare and personal glimpse into the life and struggles of the famous poet. The site currently features 74 of these personal poems.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Emma Goldman Papers

The Emma Goldman Papers, a project of Berkeley Library, presents the life and legacy of Emma Goldman through her correspondence, interviews, writing, and biographies. The site features 56 documents and a plethora of other resources for researchers of all types.

Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century

George Perkins Marsh Online Research Center

The George Perkins Marsh Online Research Center is a collection of selected transcriptions and images of the nineteenth century environmentalist’s letters. Thus far, the editors have transcribed over 650 letters whose manuscripts are otherwise housed in institutions across the county.

Time Periods: 19th Century

HamletWorks

HamletWorks is a full digital edition of Shakespeare’s famous tragedy, Hamlet, along with related reviews, essays, and performances. The website’s goal is to offer the deepest level of information regarding this complicated play for academics and fans.

Time Periods: 15th Century, 16th Century

In Mozart’s Words

In Mozart’s Words is an annotated digital version of the correspondence of Mozart and his family. Comprising approximately 1,400 letters, the project offers multilingual translations; a database of people, places, and musical works within the letters; and access to background materials. In Mozart’s Words is a collaborative project published by the Humanities Research Institute of the University of Sheffield, and directed by Cliff Eisen, Professor of Music at King’s College London.

Time Periods: 18th Century

Jefferson Architecture Electronic Archive Center

The Jefferson Architecture Electronic Archive Center (JAEAC) is a project directed by University of Virginia Professor Richard Guy Wilson, and sponsored by the Institute for the Advancement of Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia. The project has resulted in the compilation of books, drawings, and educational material either produced by or about Thomas Jefferson.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century

Jimmy Carter Library & Museum

The Jimmy Carter Library and Museum offers selected documents and photographs from the Jimmy Carter Library online with free public access. In sum, 834 photographs and 83 textual documents are available through their website.

Time Periods: 20th Century

Joseph Smith Papers

The Joseph Smith Papers present the life and legacy of Joseph Smith through his letters, journals, reports and records. Published by the Church Historian’s Press, the site features seven series of documents and seeks to be a comprehensive source of information regarding Joseph Smith.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Journal of Emily Shore: Revised and Expanded

The Journal of Emily Shore: Revised and Expanded presents the life of a young woman in the nineteenth century, as well as a powerful representation of the values and norms of the Victorian era. The Shore diary was first published by Emily’s sisters in 1891. Editor Barbara Timm Gates issued an updated print version in 1991, followed by these web transcriptions of the manuscript material, published in 2006 by the University of Virginia Press.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Letters of Christina Rossetti: Digital Edition

The Letters of Christina Rossetti: Digital Edition offers 2,124 letters written by the Victorian era poet. This number encompasses all documents that were formerly available only in the print edition. The original print edition was edited by Antony Harrison, and the current digital edition is published by the University of Virginia Press.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Letters of Matthew Arnold: Digital Edition

The Letters of Matthew Arnold: Digital Edition present the nearly 4,000 letters written by the nineteenth century poet and critic. This number encompasses all documents that were formerly available only in the print edition. The original print edition was edited by Cecil Lang, a premier editor of Victorian-era epistolary projects. The current digital edition is published by the University of Virginia Press as part of their Rotunda site.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Margaret Sanger Papers

The Public Writings of Margaret Sanger presents the life and legacy of the early twentieth century lobbyist and social reformer through her speeches and articles. Her papers were originally published in the 1920s and 1930s in various pro-socialist news sources. The current site gives life to these writings once more, offering roughly 600 documents that describe and define her struggles.

Time Periods: 20th Century

Mark Twain Project Online

The Mark Twain Project Online is meant to be a full critical edition of Mark Twain’s works. The project is produced by the Mark Twain Papers and Project of The Bancroft Library in collaboration with the University of California Press. The site currently features more than 2,300 documents including letters, essays, biographies, writings, and critiques.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Martha Ballard’s Diary Online

Martha Ballard’s Diary Online is a subset of the DoHistory project of the Film Study Center at Harvard University. The diary is presented along with video clips of A Midwife’s Tale to explore the translation of primary to secondary resources. The site explores the life and legacy of Martha Ballard through her diary- a personal narrative of over 1,400 pages, transcribed by Robert & Cynthian McCausland.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century

Matthew Prior Project

The Matthew Prior Project is a compilation of the extant correspondence of the eighteenth-century poet and diplomat. The project currently features over 3000 documents bearing testimony to Prior’s life and work.

Time Periods: 17th Century, 18th Century

Modernist Journals Project

The Modernist Journals Project is a digitization project of what the editors term “culturally significant magazines” from the early-1900s. The staff has currently digitized twenty different journals, including Blast, The Crisis, The Freewoman, and Scribner’s, among others. In addition to their journals, the site offers biographies, books, and essays reflecting on the authors and movements that influenced and were influenced by modernist journals.

Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century

New Netherland Project

The New Netherland Project, sponsored by the New Netherland Institute, is a project of scholarly transcription, translation, and publication of all documents relating to the Dutch settlement of New Netherland. The online edition currently features 43 documents and a wealth of teaching resources related to this topic.

Time Periods: 17th Century

Papers of Alexander Hamilton: Digital Edition

The Papers of Alexander Hamilton: Digital Edition presents the life and legacy of the Founding Era politician through his writings and correspondence. The digital edition is published through the University of Virginia Press, and is set to contain all 27 volumes of the print edition, published by Columbia University (at this time, only about 40% of the total text has been published).

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century

Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower

The Papers of Dwight David Eisenhower is a project of Johns Hopkins University Press, presenting the life and legacy of the former United States General and President through his own correspondence, legal documents, interviews, and other materials. The site currently houses 21 volumes of work for browsing and searching with a subscription.

Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century

Papers of George Catlett Marshall

The Papers of George Catlett Marshall is a project of the George C. Marshall Foundation that houses and displays the Marshall Papers, Pogue Papers, Congressional testimonies, Pogue interviews, and the Marshall monograph collection. All of these documents are offered free to the general public through the Marshall Foundation Research Library.

Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century

Papers of George Washington

The Papers of George Washington presents of the life and legacy of George Washington through his diaries and correspondence. The papers are edited by Edward G. Lengel at the University of Virginia, and presented digitally as part of the Founding Era Collection of the University of Virginia Press’ Rotunda scholarship. The full set of George Washington’s diaries and five separate series of papers are available, totaling over 10,000 documents.

Time Periods: 18th Century

Papers of James Madison

The Papers of James Madison Digital Edition is an online compilation of the letters of James Madison. The project is sponsored by the University of Virginia, and published by the University of Virginia Press. Though the site is currently available for free for only a trial period, all of Rotunda’s founding era papers will soon be freely open and available to the public.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century

Papers of John Jay

The Papers of John Jay is an indexed database of original document images. According to the project website, “These photocopies were originally intended to be used as source texts for documents to be included in a planned four-volume letterpress series entitled The Selected Unpublished Papers of John Jay.” Instead, in a change of plans, the letters were incorporated onto a digital edition with free public access to the original documents themselves.

Time Periods: 18th Century

Papers of Thomas Jefferson

The Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition is an XML-based edition of Princeton University’s ongoing project, The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. The digital edition presents the life and legacy of Thomas Jefferson through his correspondence, notes, and legal papers. Though the site is currently only available for free for a trial period, all of Rotunda’s founding era papers will soon be freely open and available to the public.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century

Papers of Ulysses S. Grant

The Papers of Ulysses S. Grant is a compilation of the correspondence and personal records of the Civil War general and American president. The Ulysses S. Grant Association has made all 31 current volumes, representing the years 1837-1885, fully readable and searchable via their website.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Richard Rufus of Cornwall Project

The Richard Rufus of Cornwall Project is a digital edition of 13th century works by the early scholastic philosopher and theologian. Sponsored by Stanford University, the project compiles four volumes of Rufus’ work into a single, freely accessible location.

Time Periods: 13th Century

Rutgers Oral History Archives

The Rutgers Oral History Archives is a database of records of the personal experiences of people affiliated with Rutgers University, including Rutgers alumni, faculty and staff, New Jersey veterans of foreign wars, and people who simply have story to tell in connection with the university. Though constantly growing, at the time of publication, the archive houses over 600 oral histories, a diary, a set of letters, 148 photos, several written memoirs, and a set of 1940s newsletters.

Time Periods: 20th Century

Samuel Gompers Papers

The Samuel Gompers Papers is a compilation of primary source documents regarding American labor history. The papers are primarily a print and microfilm edition, but the online edition features a series of original images alongside transcriptions.

Time Periods: 19th Century, 20th Century

Thomas MacGreevy Archive

The Thomas MacGreevy Archive presents the life and legacy of the Irish poet and critic, Thomas MacGreevy. Currently, over 400 documents are available on the site, freely accessibly to the public.

Time Periods: 20th Century

Walt Whitman Archive

The Walt Whitman Archive is a digital compilation of Whitman’s writings along with biographies, criticism, multimedia tools, and teaching resources. The archive is published by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln by editors Ed Folsom & Kenneth M. Price. The expressed intent of the project is to be a tool for electronic research and teaching, making Whitman’s vast work easily and conveniently accessible to scholars, students, and general readers.

Time Periods: 19th Century

Willa Cather Archive

The Willa Cather Archive presents a portrait of Willa Cather, both professional and personal, through her poetry, nonfiction, letters, images, audio and video. This is one of the largest and most inclusive projects of its kind, offered with free public access.

Time Periods: 20th Century

William Blake Archive

The William Blake Archive, which presents the various art works and manuscripts of William Blake, is published by the Library of Congress. The site features over fifty pieces which were carefully selected and available free online to visitors.

Time Periods: 18th Century, 19th Century

Women Writers Project

The Brown University Women Writers Project is an archive of women’s writings from the early modern period. The project serves to make female writers from the Victorian era, often un(der)recognized, better available to the public. Thus far, the project boasts over 300 different works. Their approach to standards-based transcription and publication has set a standard in the digital world.

Time Periods: 15th Century, 16th Century, 17th Century, 18th Century, 19th Century

Works of Jonathan Edwards Online

The Works of Jonathan Edwards Online presents the life and legacy of the eighteenth century evangelical through his correspondence, sermons, and theological writings. Published by Yale University, the site currently houses the full 73 volumes of Edwards works, which were originally only available in print form.

Time Periods: 18th Century

World Shakespeare Bibliography

The World Shakespeare Bibliography Online is an online database of over 128,200 documents relating to Shakespeare in modern world. The site provides annotated entries for all important books, articles, book reviews, dissertations, theatrical productions, reviews of productions, audiovisual materials, electronic media, and other scholarly and popular materials related to Shakespeare and published or produced between 1960 and 2011.

Time Periods: 20th Century

Writings of James Fenimore Cooper

The Writings of James Fenimore Cooper, a project headed by Lance Schachterle at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is dedicated to making the rare print works of Cooper easily accessible electronically. Just over twenty works of varying type and length are presently available in portable document format (.pdf) to the public free of charge.

Time Periods: 19th Century