A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

About The Winthrop Papers Digital Edition

This Winthrop Papers Digital Edition comprises the digitized content of the previously published volumes from the Winthrop Papers documentary edition, a publication of the Massachusetts Historical Society that dates from the 1920s. Since documentary editing standards changed over the 20th century, readers will notice some variation in editorial and annotation style from the earlier volume to the latest one posted. For more information about the digitization process, and particulars about how the digitized content differs from the print edition, please see Creation of the Digital Edition.


Made possible with funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Harvard University Press and with technical assistance from Rotunda, the electronic imprint of the University of Virginia Press. Originally undertaken as a joint Adams-Winthop digitization initiative under the name “Founding Families,” the conversion of the Winthrop Papers was very much a team effort; contributors, past and present, are William Beck, Suzanne Carroll, Dov Frede, Holly Hendricks, Ondine Le Blanc, Jeanine Rees, and Paul Fotis Tsimahides. The Winthrop Papers digitization also benefited from the invaluable volunteer assistance of Margaret Meaney, Bill Sloan, and Constantine Zavras, as well as Prof. Francis Bremer, editor of the Winthrop Papers series.

What the Editorial Mark up Means

This digital edition displays all editorial mark up that appeared in the printed volumes; although the online view employs different conventions, the underlying code maintains the semantic value of the original transcription policies.

[roman]words that were difficult to decipher in the original or that have been conjectured by the editors
[roman?]very uncertain readings
[italics]editorial interjections to explain ms. condition, to clarify ambiguous terms, or to supply missing dates
romanmaterial struck out in the original ms.
||roman||text written in code by the author and decrypted by the editors
.......spaces left blank in the ms. by the author
[…]damage to the manuscript that has eliminated text
romantext added or altered for digitization purposes