Frederick Douglass Papers Edition

Project History

Douglass Biography

Editorial Practices


Schedule of Publications

Series 1: Speeches, Debates, and Interviews
Series 2: Autobiography
Series 3: Correspondence
Series 4: Editorials


Institute for American Thought


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Project Staff

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Project Director and Editor: John R. McKivigan, Mary O'Brien Gibson Professor of United States History, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts. McKivigan specializes in antebellum America, Civil War studies, American ethnic history, and American working class history. He has been a member of the staff of the Frederick Douglass Papers Edition almost since its inception at Yale University in 1973. His publications include The War against Proslavery Religion: Abolitionism and the Northern Churches (1984); On Strike for Respect (1985) coeditor, The Frederick Douglass Papers, Series I, Vols. II-V, Series II, Vols. I, II (1982-2003); editor, The Frederick Douglass Papers, Series II, Vol. III (2012) and Series III, Vol. I (2009); editor, James Redpath, The Roving Editor; or, Talks with Slaves in the Southern States (1996); coeditor, The Historical Moment: Biographical Essays on American Character and Regional Identity (1994); Antislavery Violence: Slavery, Racial, and Cultural Conflict in Antebellum America (2000); Encyclopedia of Antislavery and Abolition (2006); Forgotten Firebrand: James Redpath and the Making of Nineteenth-Century America (2008); In the Words of Frederick Douglass (2012) and numerous articles. His research has been supported by fellowships and grants from many sources, including the American Council of Learned Societies, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission, and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Textual Editor: Joseph R. McElrath, Jr., Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the College of Arts and Sciences, and William Hudson Rogers Professor of English, Florida State University. McElrath specializes in late 19th-century American literature, textual and bibliographical studies, and scholarly editing. Since 1986 he has served as the editor of the journal Frank Norris Studies and is a member of the editorial advisory boards of the yarbook published by the Society for Textual Scholarship, Text, and the "American Literary Realism and Naturalism" series of monographs published by the University of Alabama Press. Founder of the "Textual & Bibliographical Studies" section of the South Atlantic Modern Language Association, he has also served in various capacities in the Association for Documentary Editing, the American Literature Association, the Frank Norris Society, and the Jack London Society.

Textual Editor: Jesse S. Crisler, Professor of American and English Literature, Brigham Young University. Crisler specializes in American Realism with a particular interest in literary naturalism. His books include Frank Norris: A Reference Guide (with Joseph R. McElrath, Jr., 1974); Frank Norris: Collected Letters (1986); John Steinbeck: The Contemporary Reviews (with Joseph R. McElrath, Jr., and Susan Shillinglaw, 1996); and Essays and Speeches of Charles W. Chestnutt (with Joseph R. McElrath, Jr., and Robert C. Leitz, III, 1999). He has also edited two essay collections.

Associate Editor: L. Diane Barnes, Associate Professor of History, Youngstown State University. Barnes joined the Frederick Douglass Papers Edition staff in 1997. She is series co-editor with Paul Finkelman on the Ohio University Press series on Law, Politics, and Society in the Midwest, and is subject editor for Oxford University Press's African American National Biography.

Assistant Editor: Position Vacant (Search in progress)

Graduate Editorial Assistants: Kate Burzlaff and Eamonn Brandon, both graduate students in the Department of English, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts.


Editorial Board:

  • Mary F. Berry, University of Pennsylvania

  • Richard J. M. Blackett, Vanderbilt University

  • David Blight, Yale University

  • Robert Hall, Northeastern University

  • Stanley Harold, South Carolina State University

  • Nancy A. Hewitt, Rutgers University

  • Darlene Clark Hine, Northwestern University

  • Waldo E. Martin, University of California, Berkeley

  • James B. Stewart, Macalester College


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Frederick Douglass Papers Edition
Institute for American Thought
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