Miller Center

University of Virginia—The Papers of James Madison

CPC Catalog > Organization: University of Virginia—The Papers of James Madison

Location [ map ]

The Papers of James Madison 
Alderman Library, University of Virginia 
P.O. Box 400118 
Charlottesville, Virginia 22904-4118


The Papers of James Madison project, housed at the University of Virginia, was established in 1956 to publish annotated volumes of the correspondence and writings of James Madison, the Virginia statesman most often remembered for his public service as "Father of the Constitution" and as fourth president of the United States.

This nonprofit project is currently supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities (an independent federal agency) and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, as well as funds from private charitable organizations and contributions from individuals.


Categories: James Madison,

The Papers of James Madison

Note that this is an incomplete collections list. Please contact the organization directly for the most current information about their holdings.

The Papers of James Madison

The papers are arranged in four series. The completed Congressional Series (seventeen volumes) is devoted to the years 1751 to 1801, containing the fullest possible record of Madison's contributions to the creation of the federal government, including his service in the Continental Congress, the Virginia General Assembly, the Constitutional Convention of 1787, the Virginia Ratifying Convention of 1788, and the first four Federal Congresses.

The Secretary of State Series (nine volumes published to date, of a projected sixteen) documents Madison's diplomatic and political career in the two administrations of Thomas Jefferson, 1801-9, during which he oversaw the negotiations for the Louisiana Purchase and the integration of those territories into the United States and attempted to maintain a viable neutrality for the United States vis-à-vis warring France and Great Britain. As secretary of state, Madison presided over one of the busiest offices in Washington. He was responsible for the Patent Office, issued all federal commissions, saw that the public laws were put into print, and served as the official liaison between the president and the governors of states and territories. Most important for these volumes, Madison was the addressee of diplomatic pouches and letters from five ministers and over fifty consuls worldwide, as well as about a dozen commissioners.

The Presidential Series, covering the years 1809 to early 1817 (seven volumes published to date, of a projected twelve), centers largely on Madison's record as commander-in-chief during the War of 1812, the first full-scale conflict to be waged under the U.S. Constitution of 1787. Madison's correspondence as president deals with a particularly wide range of concerns—national politics, international diplomacy and war, Indian affairs, the development of the nation's capital, even petitions from ordinary citizens for charity and mercy—to which Madison responded.

The Retirement Series, encompassing Madison's retirement years 1817 through 1836 (one volume published to date, of a projected seven), contains correspondence and other papers constituting a rich and informative commentary on the past history and the future prospects of the nation that Madison did so much to help create and preserve throughout his lifetime.


The project has published 37 volumes and is actively publishing new volumes.

Presidential content includes:

- James Madison

[ TOP ↑ ]