The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

Meet & Greet: Adams Papers

Last but certainly not least in our survey of MHS departments is the Adams Papers editorial staff, the diligent group responsible for overseeing the publication of the papers of several generations of members of the Adams family. The project, begun in 1954, has produced some 42 volumes to date (published by Harvard University Press), with many more scheduled (the cutoff date for the project is 1889, with the death of Abigail Brooks Adams). The editors do not edit the words written by the Adams family members; "rather, they continue the search for Adams documents, select the material to be included in the edition, provide a faithful transcription of the manuscripts, and supply annotation."

As their website notes, "The Adams Papers was funded originally by Time-Life Inc. and the Ford Foundation. At present funding is provided primarily by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the National Endowment for the Humanities, with additional funding from the Lyn and Norman Lear Fund, the Packard Humanities Institute, and private donors. Over the years, these supporters have included The J. Howard Pew Freedom Trust, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, and The Charles E. Culpeper Foundation through the Founding Fathers Papers, Inc."

The MHS' collection of Adams Family papers forms the core of the publication project, but more than 27,000 documents held by other institutions or individuals have also been gathered for inclusion in the published editions.

Portions of the Adams Family papers are now available digitally through the MHS website; see the Guide to Adams Resources for more information.

The Adamses are ever-present here at MHS, and the work done by the supremely able staff of the Adams Papers editorial team is vital in allowing us to answer questions and provide information and context about the lives and works of the family members. We couldn't do it without them!

Adams Papers staff members include: Editor in Chief C. James Taylor; Senior Editor Gregg Lint; Editor Margaret Hogan; LCA Diary Series Editor Judith Graham; Associate Editors Robert Karachuk and Hobson Woodward; Assistant Editors Mary Claffey, Beth Luey, Sara Martin, and Sara Sikes; Transcribers James Connolly and Amanda Matthews. Full contact information is available here.

permalink | Published: Wednesday, 26 August, 2009, 10:16 AM


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