The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution – Digital Edition

The Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution is an online version of original documents dealing with the Constitution’s ratification and published on the Rotunda platform of the The University of Virginia Press. It is part of the American History Collection (of which we also subscribe to the Thomas Jefferson Papers and the George Washington Papers, and, through the “Founders Early Access” documents, parts of the papers of James Madison and the John Adams family).

The Documentary History is composed of three main parts: 1) Constitutional Documents and Records, 1776-1787 [Vol. I]; 2) Ratification by the States [Vols. II – XII & XIX – XXIX]; and 3) Commentaries on the Constitution [Vols. XIII – XVIII]. Although the digital edition is not rendered as a PDF, it retains the page numbering from the print volumes, facilitating citation.

The Documentary History is an important resource for the interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and has been cited in the Supreme Court as recently as Justice Thomas’s concurrence in Dep’t of Homeland Security v. Thuraissigiam on June 25, 2020. Users can search by keyword(s) or browse, and each volume also contains an index.

Posted in Resource Spotlight
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