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February 25, 2004

Project To Place Papers of Thomas Jefferson Online Is Completed

New Items Include Correspondence, Execution Order, Subsequent Pardon

A project to make available online all the Thomas Jefferson papers in the Library of Congress has been completed with the release of the final segment of items, which can be accessed from the American Memory Web site at

"The conclusion of this project marks an important milestone for the Library and its American Memory program, which makes more than 8.5 million important historical items freely available online to all Americans," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington. "Now, all the materials in the Library’s collections from three of our most-studied presidents -- Washington, Lincoln, as well as Jefferson—can be accessed online."

Reuters America Inc. and the Reuters Foundation funded the digitization of the Jefferson papers as well as those of George Washington.

The newly available online material comprises letters and other documents that date from 1781 to 1829. They include Jefferson’s correspondence with business associates, an order for execution and a subsequent pardon signed by Jefferson.

The letter (, dated July 25, 1803, pardons Samuel Miller for his crime of burglary; he was to be executed on Aug. 20, 1803.

The online Jefferson papers now total more than 27,000 items-- correspondence, memorandums, notes, commonplace books, financial account books and manuscript volumes. These papers, housed in the Library’s Manuscript Division, are the most important collection of Jefferson materials in the world.

The complete George Washington and Abraham Lincoln papers can be accessed at These materials include some of the most treasured items in the Library of Congress collections, such as Washington’s inaugural address and Lincoln’s draft of the Gettysburg Address and Emancipation Proclamation. The Library is home to the papers of 23 U.S. presidents, ranging from George Washington to Calvin Coolidge.

American Memory is a project of the National Digital Library Program of the Library of Congress. Its more than 120 collections, which range from papers of the U.S. presidents, Civil War photographs and early films of Thomas Edison to papers documenting the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements, Jazz Age photographs and the first baseball cards, include more than 8.5 million items from the Library of Congress and other major repositories. The latest Web site from the Library is the monthly "Wise Guide" ( magazine, which demonstrates that "It’s Fun to Know History."

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PR 04-038
ISSN 0731-3527

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