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Papers — Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)


Thomas Jefferson

A comprehensive collection of Thomas Jefferson papers is currently being published by Princeton University Press. For detailed information on the editing project visit The Papers of Thomas Jefferson website. The Jefferson project has produced 35 volumes to date; 30 in its chronological series and 5 in its subject series.

  • The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. The Chronological Series of Jefferson Papers are in progress. To date, the project has published 30 volumes, covering 1760 to January, 1799.

The subject series has produced 5 volumes to date:

  • Jefferson's Extracts From the Gospels
  • Jefferson's Parliamentary Writings
  • Jefferson's Literary Commonplace Book
  • Jefferson's Memorandum Books: Accounts, with Legal Records and Miscellany (1767-1826) 2 vols.

In 1999, in cooperation with the Jefferson project at Princeton, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation at Monticello began The Papers of Thomas Jefferson: Retirement Series. The project will produce an comprehensive edition of Jefferson papers from 1809 to July of 1826. The editors hope to publish the first of a projected 23 volumes in late 2004. In addition to this letterpress edition, the project plans to create digital archive of the retirement papers and make it available via the Internet.

Earlier editions of Jefferson's papers include Paul Ford's 12 volume The Works of Thomas Jefferson published in 1904 and Andrew Lipscomb and Albert Bergh's 20 volume The Writings of Thomas Jefferson published between 1900-1910.

For material not yet published, the best sources for Jefferson writings are the three major microfilm collections of Jefferson papers. The microfilm collections are available at different institutions around the United States; please contact the Scripps Library about their location and availability.

  • Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Library of Congress, 96 reels).
  • Papers of Thomas Jefferson, University of Virginia Library (10 reels).
  • Papers of Thomas Jefferson in the Massachusetts Historical Society (32 reels).

The Library of Congress has made a portion of their Jefferson manuscript collection available online through American Memory, its digital library.

For the official papers of Jefferson during his Presidency, see James Richardson's Compilation of the Messages and Papers of the Presidents. This retrospective compilation was published in several different editions. The final edition was published in 1918 in 20 volumes. This edition covers the Presidencies of Washington through Taft and includes a significant portion of Wilson's Presidency. The contents of the Compilation are typically limited to official proclamations, addresses, and messages.