The Papers of Martin Van Buren is a joint digital/print project that will make accessible approximately 13,000 documents belonging to the eighth president. The editors expect to make Van Buren’s papers available in at least two ways:
- The freely accessible website hosted at VanBurenPapers.org. When completed, this website will contain Van Buren’s transcribed papers, minimally annotated, with links to digital images of his papers located on the Library of Congress website (when available). While the project is ongoing, the editors will periodically update the website with new documents so that users will not have to wait until the project is completed to utilize Van Buren’s papers.
- A one-volume print edition of Van Buren’s most important political documents, projected to number 250-300 in total. The University of Tennessee Press will publish this volume.
By transcribing and annotating Van Buren’s papers, including his letters, speeches, notes, and miscellaneous material, this project will provide fresh insight into the founding of the Democratic party, the evolution of formal politics between the War of 1812 and the Civil War, and the changes in political culture that occurred during Van Buren’s lifetime. Additionally, it will help scholars, students, and the public understand the maturation of United States politics during its early development.