Project History


How is the Papers of George Washington Project at the University of Virginia different from the George Washington Papers American Memory database at the Library of Congress?

The Papers of George Washington project is different from the George Washington Papers American Memory database at the Library of Congress in two major ways:

  • Their goals and purposes
    In presenting transcriptions of documents that are heavily annotated, the Papers of George Washington seeks to serve as a vital informational resource for academic research on Washington. In contrast, American Memory’s George Washington Papers displays images of documents, few transcriptions, and even fewer annotations, making it an excellent resource for accessing original manuscripts, not for thorough research.
  • The size and scope of each of these collections
    The American Memory collection primarily includes documents from the Library of Congress, whereas the Papers of George Washington includes copies of documents from small and large American repositories, private collectors, and international libraries.

How has the Papers of George Washington project progressed?
By the end of 2019, the Papers of George Washington will have published 75 of a projected 92 volumes since the project’s inception in 1968.  Three of five correspondence series—the Colonial, Confederation, and Retirement series—have been completed, along with Washington’s diaries.  A fourth, the Presidential series, will be completed in 2020, leaving only the final third or so of the lengthy Revolutionary War series.  Now in the home stretch, the project expects to cross the finish line in the mid- to late 2020s.