The Thomas Jefferson’s Libraries database is an expanding resource. Over time, we hope to continue to enrich the database by including additional book lists and references from Jefferson's correspondence.
The focus of this current phase in the project has been to make the titles from major Jefferson manuscript book lists and catalogues publicly accessible. There still exists numerous smaller book lists and references found in Jefferson’s very extensive correspondence that will be added as funding and manpower resources become available.
Examples of future additions:
1. List of Books Sold to James Monroe, May 10, 1784;
2. List of Books for Peter Carr’s Education in Letter, Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785;
3. List of Books Purchased for James Madison in Letter, Thomas Jefferson to James Madison, September 1, 1785;
4. List of Books on English and Foreign Law in Letter, Thomas Jefferson to Marie-Jean Hérault de Séchelles, July 5, 1787;
5. List of Books in Letter, Thomas Jefferson to Peter Carr, August 10, 1787;
6. List of Books Copied from the 1783 Catalog in William Short’s hand, circa 1788;
7. Recommmended Books for Congressional Library in Letter, Thomas Jefferson to Abraham Baldwin, April 14, 1802;
8. Catalogue of Books on Agriculture in Letter, Thomas Jefferson to Wilson Cary Nicholas, December 16, 1809;
9. List of Books Recommended to Bernard Moore in Letter, Thomas Jefferson to John Minor, August 30, 1814;
10. Catalogue for an Agricultural Library in Letter, Thomas Jefferson to George Washington Jeffreys, March 3, 1817;
11. List of Books for the University of Virginia Library in Nicholas P. Trist's hand, June 3, 1825.
Presently, only the Wythe Library List transcription has embedded links to book entries in Jefferson's library on LibraryThing. We are continuing to embed similar links in all of the transcription lists available on this site.
We plan to also incorporate references to purchase records found in Jefferson’s Memorandum Books. These help identify when and where a specific title was acquired by Jefferson where this can be determined.
In addition, we can gain valuable insights into the literature that formed Jefferson’s education by examining early courses and professors at William and Mary (which Jefferson attended from 1760 to 1762), as well as curricula from contemporary colleges in early America.
We also hope to carry out further analyses of portions of Jefferson’s library collections. For example, identifying in the database the portion of his Monticello Library that Jefferson chose not to sell to Congress in 1815 would be of great interest to scholars and researchers.
Web content will also expand. Short biographies and other interpretive tools such as historical timelines will help place the bibliographic information in the database within its historical context. Additional scholarly essays will provide analysis and discussion on such topics as the reading habits of the founding generation, eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century publishing and printing, and booksellers and bookselling in early America.
Where available, additional links to facsimile images of manuscripts and portraits, and electronic editions of imprints and maps will enable users to access the same books and maps known and used by Jefferson.