National Historical Publications & Records Commission

A 21st-Century Digital Platform for 19th-Century Analog Content

The Massachusetts Historical Society is developing a digital edition publishing cooperative that focuses on the historical period known as the “long nineteenth century,” which ranges from the onset of the French Revolution to the outbreak of World War I. The initial cooperative would encompass the writings of a statesman, John Quincy Adams; a jurist, Roger Brooke Taney; an author, Catharine Mara Sedgwick; and a chemist, Ellen Swallow Richards. Each of the editions draw, in part, on MHS collections, and explore important shifts in American thought and culture in the fields of history, literary studies, and political science between 1789 and 1914.

During the planning phase, the cooperative will work to establish an editorial baseline for each project and common editorial practices; draft a “cookbook” for encoding and provide training for staff; and develop a cost model for the cooperative. In addition, the Collaborative will define the parameters for inviting new projects and gain an understanding of the technology components needed for implementation.

More information on the Massachusetts Historical Society can be found at