REMINDER: Butterfield Award Nominations

REMINDER: The Lyman H. Butterfield Award committee solicits nominations for a recipient of the award in 2016. This award is presented annually by the
Association for Documentary Editing to an individual, editorial project, or institution for notable contributions in the areas of documentary
publication, teaching, or service. Nominations should be made by letter. Supporting letters from members of the Association are encouraged. All materials should reach the committee chair by 15 May 2016, sent either by e-mail or by post to:

Esther Katz
Margaret Sanger Papers Project
New York University
838 Broadway, suite 838
New York, NY 10003

Thank you,

Esther Katz, chair
Cathy Moran Hajo
John Lupton
James McClure

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Online Access to “Correspondence of James K. Polk”

The James K. Polk Project, at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is
pleased to announce that all twelve published volumes of the “Correspondence
of James K. Polk” are now available online. This open-access edition,
published by Newfound Press, makes important primary-source documents on the
politics, diplomacy, economics, science, and culture of the antebellum
decades easily accessible to scholars and students.

The volumes can be found at

Edited consecutively by Herbert Weaver, Wayne Cutler, Tom Chaffin, and
Michael David Cohen, the volumes feature annotated letters from July
1817–July 1847. They document Polk’s years as a University of North Carolina
student; a lawyer and plantation owner; a member of the Tennessee
legislature; a member of, and Speaker of, the U.S. House of Representatives;
Tennessee’s governor; and the eleventh U.S. president. The Mexican-American
War and the developing conflict over slavery are among the many topics covered.

Two more volumes remain to complete the series, covering the second half of
Polk’s presidency and his three-month retirement. Volume 13, which will
bring the series through March 1848 and the end of the war, will be released
in hardcover by the University of Tennessee Press later this year.

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The Diaries of Gouverneur Morris – the project’s first volume online

The Papers of Gouverneur Morris is pleased to announce that Rotunda, the University of Virginia Press’ digital imprint, has published the project’s first volume online (The Diaries of Gouverneur Morris: European Travels, 1794-1798) as part of the American Founding Era Collection. This volume went up at the same time as  Beatrix Davenport’s edition of Morris’s Paris diaries (1789-1793). The Paris diaries on the site include material that Davenport either left out or which was blotted over by Morris (to the extent that it could be recovered, which was limited).

This year marks the 200th anniversary year of Morris’s death. For more information on the Project, see

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Upcoming symposium: Jefferson Davis’s America: Perspectives on the Mid-Nineteenth-Century United States

February 19-20, 2016, Rice University

In 1890, W. E. B. Du Bois pointed to Jefferson Davis as “a representative of civilization” as it had developed over the previous century. Scholars have often remembered the 19th century as the Age of Emancipation, as an age of liberal nation-building or even as the Age of Lincoln. But according to the latest scholarship, 19th-century American civilization was dependent on slave-based capitalism, racism and imperial conquest. Seen in that light, Jefferson Davis, as a soldier in the Mexican-American War, a U.S. secretary of war and senator, a Mississippi cotton planter, and leader of a slaveholding breakaway republic with imperial ambitions of its own, was much more than an anomaly.

This conference coincides with the completion of “The Papers of Jefferson Davis” documentary editing project. A group of leading American historians will look unblinkingly on the 19th-century U.S. as a nation in which Jefferson Davis, more than Lincoln, was in many ways the typical figure. Like Du Bois in 1890, we “wish to consider not the man, but the type of civilization which his life represented,” with papers on the forces — territorial expansion, slavery, capitalism, nationalism, Civil War memory and empire — with which Jefferson Davis’s life intersected at crucial moments in U.S. history.

See for more information.

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Invitation from the Society of American Archivists

Call for Nominations: 2016 SAA Waldo Gifford Leland Award

Please help us to recognize the best in our profession!

Have you read a great new book about archives? Seen an exceptional new finding aid? Encountered a new documentary publication that is head and shoulders above the rest? Has a new web publication really stood out to you?

If you have, please consider nominating it for the Society of American Archivists Waldo Gifford Leland Award. Nomination forms, a list of previous winners, and more information are at The deadline for nominations is February 28, 2016.

The annual Leland Award – a cash prize and certificate – recognizes “writing of superior excellence and usefulness in the field of archival history, theory, and practice.”
(Please note that periodicals are not eligible.)

Established in 1959, this award honors American archival pioneer Waldo Gifford Leland (1879-1966), president of the Society of American Archivists in the1940s and one of the driving forces behind the founding of the National Archives.

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Call for Papers – The Association for Documentary Editing

Call for Papers – The Association for Documentary Editing

Celebrate the Vibrancy of Documentary Editing

New Orleans, Louisiana, August 4-6, 2016
Program Organizers: Jennifer Stertzer, Louis Gallo, Robert Haggard, and Pamela Pierce

Deadline for Proposals: March 31, 2016

The Association for Documentary Editing announces its annual conference to be held at the Astor Crowne Plaza, in New Orleans, Louisiana. Famous for its cuisine, music, and festivals, New Orleans embodies vibrancy and diversity. The city’s rich history is still evident today in the French and Spanish Creole architecture — the French Quarter, Jackson Square, and the Garden District— as well as its cross-cultural and multilingual heritage.

With the spirit of New Orleans in mind, we invite proposals on any aspect of documentary editing, including (but not restricted to) the discovery, editing, annotation, analysis, teaching, and publication of texts from many disciplines, including history, literature, linguistics, ethnic studies, classics, musicology, economics, philosophy, digital humanities, paleography, codicology, art history, the history of science, library and information science, gender and sexuality studies, and more. Additionally, we invite proposals dealing with challenges, developments, and solutions related to planning, building, and publishing digital editions and collections. We especially invite proposals from students, early-career editors, and graduates of the Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents.

Submissions may take the following forms:

  1. Papers. Papers should be no more than 20 minutes in length, making a significant original contribution to scholarship.
  2. Panels. Panels may consist of either three associated papers or four to six roundtable speakers. Roundtables should address topics of broad interest and scope, with the goal of fostering lively debate with audience participation.
  3. Posters. Posters showcase projects or present focused topics in a setting that features personal interaction and informal conversation. Posters on works-in-progress are encouraged.

To propose a paper, panel, or poster, send an abstract of no more than 500 words to the program committee via the form available here no later than March 31, 2016. The proposal should clearly indicate the format and whether technological support will be required. Please include the name, email address, and institutional affiliations for all participants.

The Association will award a limited number of travel grants to defray part of the expenses for program participants who are members.

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NHPRC – Strategic Plan Draft

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission has revised its draft of our Strategic Plan and proposed a new mission and vision statement as well as four major goals for the agency:


The National Historical Publications and Records Commission provides opportunities for the American people to discover and use records that increase understanding of our democracy, history, and culture.


Through leadership initiatives, grants, and fostering the creation of new tools and methods, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission connects the work of the National Archives to the work of the nation’s archives. The Commission acts as a bridge for innovation and creativity in advancing best archival practices, publishing historical records, and connecting citizens to their records.

GOAL: Connect the National Archives with the work of the nation’s archives.

GOAL: Expand access to the nation’s historical records.

GOAL: Engage the American people in preserving the American record.

GOAL: Enhance the capacity of small and diverse organizations with historical records collections.

You can read the full Strategic Plan framework and add your voice to the discussion on our Annotation blog at

We welcome your comments by February 1, 2016.

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Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents Welcomes Applications for 2016

The Association for Documentary Editing welcomes applications for the 45th Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents, to be held 31 July – 4 August 2016 at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents is an annual five-day workshop for individuals new to the field of historical documentary editing. With the needs of the participants as a guide, experienced documentary editors provide instruction in the principles and practices of documentary editing and insight into the realities of work on a documentary edition.

Documentary editing is the craft of preparing historical writings for publication in print or online. The goal is to produce an authoritative edition of the material, with an accurate transcription of the original manuscript and an editorial framework that facilitates understanding of the text and context.

Participants in the Editing Institute might be joining the staff of an existing documentary editing project or launching their own. Since its inception in 1972, the Editing Institute has trained more than 500 individuals. These include not only full-time documentary editors but also college and university faculty and graduate students, archivists and librarians, government historians, public historians, and independent scholars.

The 45th Editing Institute will take place in conjunction with the 2016 ADE Annual Meeting, which will be held immediately following the Editing Institute, 4–6 August, also at the Astor Crowne Plaza Hotel in New Orleans.

The Editing Institute charges no tuition, and travel stipends will be provided to eligible participants living outside the New Orleans area. Admission, however, is competitive. The deadline for applications is 1 February 2016.

For an application or more information, please e-mail Bob Karachuk, ADE Education Director,

The Institute for the Editing of Historical Documents is administered by the Association for Documentary Editing under a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), an affiliate of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).

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Call for Nominations for Boydston Award

The Association for Documentary Editing invites nominations for the 2016 Boydston Essay Prize. The prize will be awarded to the best essay or review published anywhere between January 1, 2014, and December 31, 2015, the primary focus of which is the editing of a volume of works or documents. The award carries a cash honorarium of $300. Eligible essays may have been published in digital or print journals, monographs, and collections. Please submit nominations and citations in the body of an e-mail and attach essays or reviews to be considered in MS Word . Self-nominations are welcome. Nominations or questions should be addressed to Helen R. Deese, the committee chair, at The prize will be awarded at the ADE annual meeting in August 2016. NOMINATIONS ARE DUE BY JANUARY 1, 2016.

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Roundtable Discussion on Documentary Editing at this year’s AHA

Documentary editors have long recognized the unique capabilities of the digital edition, which allows for more integrated presentation of metadata as well as greater accessibility for users via the Internet. With the process of creating online editions well explored, what are the next steps editors must take to stay current in an ever-changing digital environment?

At the American Historical Association annual meeting (, January 7-10 in Atlanta, editors will discuss the methods they use to remain up-to-date in the production and dissemination of their editions at the roundtable “Documentary Editors Engage the 21st Century” ( While digital technology allows for new ways of presenting documentary texts, these technologies also create opportunities to reach out to new audiences.

Should documentary editors’ responsibilities lie solely with presenting reliable texts, or should they also include making that text approachable to a wider audience? How do editors go about doing this, and why should they concern themselves with it? Scholars on this roundtable represent a variety of editorial projects, and from their unique perspectives they will discuss how they seize the opportunities of the digital age to ensure that their work remains relevant to a rapidly evolving audience. This could refer to the types of documents editors work on, the presentation of the texts themselves, auxiliary projects based on the data arising from the documents, or reaching out to audiences through the use of social media. Participants will also discuss getting students involved in editing, ensuring that interest in documentary editing will continue well beyond the period of current scholars’ careers.

Speakers include Tenisha Armstrong (Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project), David Coleman (Presidential Recordings Program), Edward G. Lengel (The Washington Papers Project), and Jennifer Steenshorne (The Selected Papers of John Jay). They will give brief presentations, followed by a discussion, in which they hope to be joined by fellow editors, archivists, and textual scholars.

The session will be held Thursday, January 7, 3:30 PM-5:30 PM, in the Crystal Ballroom C (Hilton Atlanta, First Floor). For more information about the AHA annual meeting, visit The meeting will also include sessions on archival issues, public history, and digital history, as well as sessions and events in numerous historical disciplines. We hope you’ll consider joining, as well as helping to spread the word about this event.

For more information, feel free to contact the session chair, Stephanie Kingsley, at



Stephanie Kingsley (American Historical Association)

Tenisha Armstrong (Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers Project)
David Coleman (Presidential Recordings Program)
Edward G. Lengel (The Washington Papers Project)
Jennifer Steenshorne (The Selected Papers of John Jay)

Date: Thursday, January 7
Time: 3:30 PM-5:30 PM
Location: Crystal Ballroom C (Hilton Atlanta, First Floor)

A complete session abstract is available in the online program:

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