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About the Papers of George Washington

The Papers of George Washington, launched at the University of Virginia in 1968, is a scholarly documentary editing project that edits, publishes, and publicizes a comprehensive edition of George Washington's public and private papers. Today there are copies of over 135,000 documents in the project’s document room—one of the richest collections of American historical manuscripts extant. There is almost no facet of research on life and enterprise in the late colonial and early national periods that will not be enhanced by material from these documents. The publication of Washington’s papers will make this source material available not only to scholars, but to all Americans interested in the founding of their nation.

This edition, available in both digital and print formats, is divided into six parts, five of which have been completed: the Diaries (1748–1799; six volumes); the Colonial Series (1744–1775; ten volumes); the Confederation Series (1784–1788; six volumes); the Presidential Series (1788–1797; twenty-one volumes); and the Retirement Series (1797–1799; four volumes). The project also has produced three individual books: The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797 (1981), a one-volume abridgment of the Diaries (1999), and Washington’s Barbados Diary, 1751–1752 (2018). Project staff now focuses on completing by 2028 the Revolutionary War Series (1775–1783; twenty-seven volumes of a projected forty-three, as of September 2020). In 2008, the project broadened its scope to include other significant editions, such as the George Washington’s Financial Papers, the Martha Washington Papers, and Washington Family Papers projects.

The project’s work is generously supported by grants from the Florence Gould Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association, the Packard Humanities Institute, the University of Virginia, and gifts from private foundations and individuals. The project’s website is located at

See a complete list of Washington Papers volumes included in Founders Online, with links to the documents.

The letterpress edition of The Papers of George Washington is available from The University of Virginia Press.

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