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About the Jefferson Papers index

About the Index to the Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition

Rotunda’s index to the Papers of Thomas Jefferson Digital Edition is directly based on the back-of-the-book indexes contained in the letterpress edition of The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. The printed indexes were digitized and converted to XML according to our specifications. We then entered corrections provided by the PTJ editors (for example, corrections to page numbers, or changes in name forms as a consequence of updated identifications of individuals). Index entries and subentries were not otherwise merged or edited from their original format, except in two situations:

In the original or Main Series of the Papers of Thomas Jefferson, none of the first 20 volumes carried an index. Instead, a cumulative index to those volumes was published separately as volume 21 of the edition. (Readers may wish to refer to the Introduction to that volume for an explanation of the original decision not to include volume-by-volume indexes.) Beginning with volume 22, each volume carried its own individual index. The digital edition preserves this organization.

In the letterpress indexes, references are to page numbers or page ranges. In the digital edition, we determine programmatically which document(s) may be found on the designated page or pages. Instead of giving a bare page number as the reference link, we provide the full title of the first document on the page. In cases where a page includes more than one document, a + is added to the title to indicate that the text referred to may be found in one of the following documents. Clicking on a document reference takes the reader to the top of the “page” in the digital edition, where key terms from the index entry are highlighted to make it easier to locate the target of the reference.

Rotunda staff