Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 29, 2007. ISSN 0196-7134


2007 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


Since its widespread adoption only a dozen years ago, the Internet has transformed the information economy in one of history's most astoundingly rapid adaptations to technology. The Internet has become a way to quickly, easily, and inexpensively disseminate information. Documentary editors were quick to see its potential, evidenced by the groundbreaking Model Editions Partnership, the growing number of documentary editing project web sites, and recent forays into online publishing by academic presses. The story of publishing online to reach audiences hitherto unreachable or even unknown is the story of democratizing the use of primary source materials.

I begin with a brief survey of the state of publishing documentary editions on the Web. I will be brief because I'm not here to make a case for publishing online, something you will do without prompting, because of economic and market forces. Instead, my purpose is to introduce documentary editors to the brave new Web 2.0 world.

From the paper given at the ADE Annual Meeting in Richmond, Virginia, November 16-18,2007. The opinions expressed are the author's own and are not necessarily the position, policy, or opinion of his employer, the National Archives and Records Administration or the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.