STAUNTON, VA.- Considered by many to be one of the most influential and successful Presidents in United States history, Woodrow Wilson’s achievements and leadership qualities have been well documented and noted by historians and political scientists for generations. But, where are his original notes & documents? And how can they be accessed? Spread across the United States, spanning several states, numerous libraries, living rooms and private homes; lay the documents and papers of President Woodrow Wilson. These documents are a collection of works, ranging from personal correspondence with his wife and daughters to official Presidential papers. The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, edited by Arthur S. Link and originally published by Princeton University Press, was compiled in the mid-1970’s and consists of only about 10% of Wilson’s works, but still comprise a total of 38,400 documents contained on 39,936 pages.
Founded in 2004, the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library Foundation (WWPL) seeks to preserve this president’s collections and materials by embarking on a digitization project, The Woodrow Wilson Project, which would gather these documents in one place, memorialize them and make them accessible to all who wish to have access to them.
The Papers of Woodrow Wilson Digital Edition will be accomplished in two phases. Phase One will focus on digitizing Arthur S. Link’s The Papers of Woodrow Wilson. The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library plans to collaborate with the University of Virginia Press in outsourcing the digitization and transcription of the 69 volumes, having an employee of the University of Virginia Press supervise quality control of the finished product in consultation with the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library as needed. This phase is expected to take 18 months to complete.
Phase Two would be directed by the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and include compiling the additional Woodrow Wilson papers that were not included in Link’s The Papers of Woodrow Wilson, digitizing them, and then publishing them in additional volumes through Rotunda and Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library’s digital library. This phase is expected to take between five and six years, and could be conducted concurrently with Phase One as funding permits.
All of the documents will be housed in one place, at the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library’s
digital library, which is open to the public. For more information or to learn how the general public can help with the Woodrow Wilson Project contact Elizabeth Shortt, WWPL Head Archivist, at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit http://www.woodrowwilsonproject.org/.