You may not think you know the Association for Documentary Editing, but chances are you’ve encountered us even if you weren’t aware of it.
If you caught any of the excitement generated by the recent publication of The Selected Letters of Willa Cather—which reveals correspondence that the reclusive author never intended to see public light—then you should know that one of the editors of that work, Andrew Jewell of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is a member of the ADE and a co-editor of the Association’s respected online journal, Scholarly Editing.
If you saw news stories about the discovery of a page of Abraham Lincoln’s early math notebook or the uncovering of a long-overlooked report by the first physician to reach Lincoln after the president was shot by John Wilkes Booth, then you have met, indirectly, Daniel Stowell and his colleagues on the extraordinary staff of the Papers of Abraham Lincoln based in Springfield, Illinois (http://papersofabrahamlincoln.org).
If your curiosity was piqued by the announcement of Founders Online (http://founders.archives.gov), the ambitious cooperative endeavor of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the University of Virginia Press, and the editions of the papers of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, the Adams Family, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and Alexander Hamilton to make the texts of thousands of documents accessible online, then you know something of the work of members of the ADE.
If you are a first-time editor—whether transcribing ancestors’ letters to preserve and pass on your family’s heritage or preparing a small collection of texts for publication in a scholarly journal or digital publication—you should consult the definitive manual, the Guide to Documentary Editing by Mary-Jo Kline and Susan Holbrook Perdue, available online (http://gde.upress.virginia.edu) and as a book from the University of Virginia Press.
Consider also enrolling in the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents, fondly referred to as Camp Edit, which is the premier training event for those who are new to documentary editing. It happens over several days each summer just before the Association’s annual conference (the next will be in Louisville, Kentucky, in July 2014; more information here).
And above all, become a member of the ADE to take advantage of the innumerable opportunities we provide to connect with energetic individuals who, as full-time professionals or in part-time ventures, engage in the work of documentary editing.
Membership in the ADE can benefit not just those who edit manuscripts and documents for digital or print publication, but anyone who uses primary sources in teaching, research, or digital projects.
We’re the people who bring you, the researcher, teacher, student, or general reader, the transcribed and annotated correspondence, writings, and other texts of Thomas Edison, Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, Albert Einstein, Joseph Smith, Walt Whitman, Margaret Sanger, the O’odham and Pee Posh peoples of Arizona and Sonora, Clarence Mitchell, Jr., Andrew Jackson, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Moody Emerson, Ulysses S. Grant, Dolley Madison, Neith Boyce, George C. Marshall, Henry D. Thoreau, John Dewey . . . and many, many others.
We’d love to share our experience with you and to make your interests and efforts part of our common endeavor. Take advantage of the resources here on our website, and let us hear from you!
On behalf of the ADE Council,
ADE President, 2013-2014