Yesterday the US National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), through its National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), along with the University of Virginia Press launched a beta version of the Founders Online website. Founders Online provides free, searchable access to over 119,000 letters and other documents written and received by George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams (and family), Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, and James Madison.
For the past 50 years, the NHPRC has invested in detailed collections of all of the documents authored and received by, or related to, individual leaders of the period. Scholars have collected—from archives across the country and around the world—copies of the original 18th- and 19th-century documents, transcribed them, provided annotations, and produced hundreds of books. Founders Online includes most of these transcriptions and annotations as well as transcriptions of thousands of documents that have not yet appeared in the published volumes. As work continues on each of the ongoing publishing projects, newly annotated and edited records will be added to the website. When it is complete, Founders Online will include approximately 175,000 documents.
For more information and to search or browse the Founding Fathers’ documents, visit Founders Online.