Project director and co-editor Mark R. Cheathem is professor of history at Cumberland University. He is the author or editor of seven books and several articles and essays on the Jacksonian and Civil War eras. Four of his books engage directly with the political era with which Van Buren is associated. One, Andrew Jackson, Southerner (2013), is an award-winning biography of the seventh president and leading Democratic statesman with whom Van Buren was closely aligned. A second book, Andrew Jackson and the Rise of the Democratic Party (pbk. ed., 2018), focuses specifically on the development of the Democratic party that Van Buren helped to construct. Cheathem’s most recent award-winning book, The Coming of Democracy: Presidential Campaigning in the Age of Jackson (2018), focuses on the Jacksonian political culture in which Van Buren operated. He is currently completing a study of the 1844 presidential election, a contest that resulted in Van Buren's estrangement from the Democratic party.
Project co-editor James Bradley, who holds an M.A. in history from New York University, has been a journalist and editor for more than 20 years, contributing to The Village Voice, The New York Observer, and New York Newsday, among other publications. He has been an editor at Time Inc. since 1998. For five years, he was the senior project editor of The Encyclopedia of New York City, published by Yale University Press, now in its second edition. Bradley is currently under contract with Oxford University Press to complete a biography of Van Buren. He has a home in the Hudson Valley and often visits the Van Buren National Historic Site in Kinderhook to do research.
Editor Andrew Wiley earned his Ph.D. at the University of Calgary. His research centers on political conservatism in the antebellum and Civil War periods. His previous experience in documentary editing came as a researcher and editorial assistant at the Frederick Douglass Papers. Wiley was formerly the website manager and editorial assistant for Civil War History. He is responsible for verifying initial transcriptions, providing annotations, communicating with archives and repositories, and fulfilling research requests.
Assistant editor Max Matherne earned his Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, where he previously worked as a lecturer and research associate at the Papers of Andrew Jackson. His research focuses on the ideological underpinnings of the Jacksonian Democrats’ so-called “Spoils System.” Matherne supervises student transcriptionists; provides initial transcriptions, first-pass verification, and annotation; communicates with archives and repositories; and fulfills research requests.
Editorial staff at the University of Virginia's Center for Digital Editing (CDE) also contribute to the project as part of the CDE's partnership with Cumberland University.
Katie Blizzard is a research editor at the CDE and the Washington Papers, where she is responsible for the Papers of George Washington Digital Edition. In addiiton to transcribing and verifying documents, she supervises UVA students working on the project.
Erica Cavanaugh is a research editor at the Washington Papers and the project developer at the CDE. Since 2013, she has assisted with all aspects of technical and editorial work on the digital editions of the Washington Papers, including the Papers of George Washington Digital Edition and the George Washington Financial Papers project. Cavanaugh developed the PMVB project website in Drupal and and provides site maintenance, ongoing development, and technical instruction.
Students and volunteers who have assisted the project include:
Candace Jackson Gray
Quinlan Day Odom