Every four years a presidential election rolls around, and we are reminded of the history of those exciting weeks in autumn. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission has played a key role in documenting those elections through preserving and publishing the papers of the winners and the also-rans. This week let’s look at who got the job.
Fifteen U.S. presidents have been documented in complete or in-progress print editions supported by the NHPRC, and three others have had their papers preserved through microfilm collections. In addition, six presidents–Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon–are part of the Presidential Recordings project at the University of Virginia.
Here’s where to find them:
- Founders Online — Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Madison, and John Quincy Adams are part of the corpus of 185,000 documents captured here.
- George Washington (University of Virginia) — includes the Washington Financial Papers
- John Adams and John Quincy Adams (Massachusetts Historical Society) — also preserves documents from other members of the famous family
- Thomas Jefferson (Princeton University) — the oldest of the modern documentary editions
- James Madison (University of Virginia) — see also the Dolley Madison Digital Edition on Rotunda
- James Monroe (University of Mary Washington) — also supported a microfilm edition
- Andrew Jackson (University of Tennessee)
- Martin Van Buren (Cumberland University) — an online edition
- James K. Polk (University of Tennessee) focused on his correspondence
- Zachary Taylor and Millard Fillmore (American University) — a brand-new edition; also supported microfilm editions
- James Buchanan (Historical Society of Pennsylvania) — a microfilm edition of 20,000 items
- Abraham Lincoln (Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library) — a complete edition of his legal papers and an ongoing documentary edition
- Andrew Johnson (University of Tennessee)
- Ulysses S. Grant (Mississippi State University) — project began at Southern Illinois University. A digital edition is available on Rotunda.
- Rutherford B. Hayes (Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Museum and Library) — a microfilm edition drawn from the Hayes Collection and 130 libraries and repositories.
- Woodrow Wilson (Princeton University) — a 69-volume edition. Available on Rotunda.
- Warren G. Harding (Ohio Historical Society) — microfilm edition
- Dwight D. Eisenhower (Johns Hopkins University Press) digital edition
- Presidential Recordings Project (University of Virginia) — online edition of the transcriptions and annotations from secret White House tape recordings.
Next week, the Also-Rans!