Established in 1968 at the University of Virginia, The Washington Papers is working to publish comprehensive letterpress and digital editions of the Washington family's correspondence.
Regularly updated to feature contributions from staff and guest bloggers, Washington's Quill explores our work in documentary editing and the world in which the Washingtons lived.
By William M. Ferraro, Senior Associate Editor
October 19, 2018
Virginia state archivist William J. Van Schreeven and University of Virginia president Edgar J. Shannon, Jr., played critical (yet now-overlooked) roles in founding The Washington Papers. In a proposal dated Oct. 18, 1966, Van Shreeven called for the publication of a comprehensive edition of the papers of George Washington. Not only was there a need for this sort of project (previous editions contained only Washington’s outgoing correspondence or selected incoming letters), but the American Revolutionary War Bicentennial promised interest and a favorable funding environment. Picking up on the idea, Shannon formed a committee in January 1967 to explore the venture.