Documentary Editing, Association for


Date of this Version


Document Type



Documentary Editing, Volume 21, Number 2, June 1999.

ISSN 2476-1796 (electronic); ISSN 2167-1451 (print)


1999 © the Association for Documentary Editing. Used by permission.


The Institute for Editing Historical Documents has been meeting every sununer since 1972. More than four hundred editors, archivists, teaching faculty, graduate students, and independent scholars have benefited from its teaching sessions, tutorials, and good fellowship. The institute has become an institution. Those who have spent a week or two in Madison (since 1978) or an earlier venue, whether as campers or as counselors, are nearly unanimous in agreeing that the experience was professionally valuable. But aside from the comments on each session written by the interns, there has been no systematic evaluation of the institute. This article attempts to provide one such long-term evaluation, in the form of the currently fashionable "outcomes assessment." However, the unadorned statistics I have gathered provide only a barebones assessment of the institute that would benefit from being fleshed out by participants. The comments of those who have attended the institute would help to confirm, correct, or supplement this account. I would welcome correspondence on the subject.