Founders Online Site Will Give Access to Historic American Documents

By Diane Haddad

The National Archives is poised to launch the Founders Online website with thousands of transcribed and annotated documents from George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton.

Eventually, 175,000 letters, diary entries, publications and other documents will be on Founders Online. Their source is 242 printed volumes that collect the papers of each man from the National Archives, Library of Congress and other archives around the world. The volumes also include editorial essays that introduce the materials and add historical context.

The site will launch at (there’s a placeholder page there now) June 13 with a ceremony at the National Archives building. Student winners of the National History Day contest will be among the first to search the site’s records.

This video gives you an overview of Founders Online and the documents it provides access to:

Read more about how the papers were collected, transcribed and annotated in this online article from the Winter 2010 issue of Prologue, the National Archives’ magazine.