MHS News

Adams Family Papers Online Catalog Launched

Slip FileThe MHS is pleased to announce the launch of the Online Adams Catalog (OAC), a comprehensive database of records that describe documents related to John Adams, Abigail Adams, John Quincy Adams, and other Adams family members, as well as their extended network of correspondents, from the 17th to the 19th century. The culmination of four years of collaboration between the Society’s archivists, web development team, and Adams Papers editors, this searchable catalog contains over 110,000 records describing all known documents that were written by or to members of the Adams family. The project was funded by grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and the Packard Humanities Institute.

Editors of the Adams Papers Editorial Project at the MHS, responsible for publishing documentary editions of the papers of the family (including diaries, correspondence, political papers, and more) have meticulously cataloged over the last 50 years all known Adams documents at the MHS, at other repositories, and in private collections. They established a color-coded system of paper slips for tracking individual items. The OAC was designed to convert this in-house file of paper slips into an online database, not only to facilitate the publication of print volumes but to provide access to that information for interested researchers via the MHS website.

Vast amounts of interrelated data are now retrievable with the click of a mouse. Researchers can search by name, date, keyword, holding institution, or any combination of these elements. All of the information about a document is pulled together and displayed in a single record, including the name of the institution holding that document and where, if anywhere, it has been printed. In many cases, individual records also contain links to digital images and even transcriptions of manuscripts at the MHS website. These include over 1,100 letters between John and Abigail, the diplomatic correspondence of John and John Quincy Adams, and other items available as part of the Adams Papers Digital Editions, the Adams Family Papers Electronic Archive, and the Diaries of John Quincy Adams Digital Collection. The interface also allows researchers to limit their search to only those documents available online.

Published: Friday, 8 July, 2011, 12:54 PM