Friday, June 14, 2013

American Founders online with the U.S. govt. archive

The site is still in beta, but the U.S. government archive has posted an extensive, annotated and searchable archive of the writings of the "top-tier" Founding Fathers:  George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, the Adams family, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton.  The site claims to have nearly 120,000 documents in its database.  An amazing research source to be sure!  Check it out here:  Founders Online.

Now how am I going to get any work done!


WKen said...

I'm trying to figure out whether "the Adams family" is a deliberate joke.

If so, I have to say that it's well played.

Mark D. said...

It was meant to be a mild pun.

JMS said...

The advent of this website is great for an informed citizenry. And as JL Bell notes at his Boston 1775 blogspot, these efforts are funded by federal tax dollars. But, funding is being cut severely. As Bell states:

"Our tax dollars have long funded the scholarly projects to collect, edit, and publish important historical documents, including the papers of these national founders, for the benefit of the public and the world. The National Historical Publications and Records Commission is the agency that makes those grants, not just for Founders Online but for many smaller projects around the country. And for the past several years that agency has been targeted by congressional budget-cutters.

The National Humanities Alliance explains the situation:
For FY 2014, we urge Congress to provide at least $5 million (level funding) for the grants program of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The Administration’s FY 2014 budget requests only $3 million for the NHPRC, an amount that will not support the ongoing programs and mission of the Commission at even a minimal level. It is up to the Congress to preserve this program, which has already been cut substantially in previous fiscal years.

Under the sequester, NHPRC’s funding declined to $4.75 million from $5 million under the CR [continuing resolution], which was a $2.0 million cut from the FY 2011 level of $7.0 million (and a decrease of $8.0 million from the FY 2010 level of $13.0 million).
Again, in 2010 the agency that’s bringing us Founders Online was funded at $13.0 million. In the current fiscal year (after sequestration), its budget is at $4.75 million, or far less than half. And there are further declines possible next year. If historical projects like this are a priority for us as a nation, we have to be ready to pay for them."