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


Contact Us

Schedule of Publications from the Project

Frederick Douglass's Correspondence

Bibliography from Life and Times of Frederick Douglass

Editing at The Frederick Douglass Papers Project


About the Frederick Douglass Papers Project

Frederick Douglass, born into slavery in 1818, became an influential human rights activist of both the antebellum and post-bellum nineteenth-century world--one whose reputation endures still. The Frederick Douglass Papers Project originated in 1973 at Yale University. The project's primary aim has been to make the papers of this prolific African American figure accessible to a broad audience, much as similar projects have done for the papers of notable white historical and literary figures. The heart of the project is the publication of fourteen volumes of Douglass’s writings, but the project has also begun exploring the use of electronic texts and of web sites to broaden access to the project’s resources. As such, the Frederick Douglass papers is one of the few major documentary editing projects in progress devoted to an African American figure, the others including the Martin Luther King, Jr. Papers at the University of California-Berkeley, the Freedman and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland, and the Harriet Jacobs Papers at Pace University.

Currently, the project is completing the tenth and eleventh volumes of the four series set. The first series, five volumes of Speeches, Debates, and Interviews, was completed in 1992 and praised in The Journal of American History as “an important resource for Douglass scholars as well as all those interested in unraveling the intricate web of nineteenth-century reform.” (Carol V.R. George, “The Frederick Douglass Papers. Series One: Speeches, Debates, and Interviews. Vol. 1: 1841-46,” The Journal of American (Dec., 1980) 67:681-83.) Two of the three volumes of Series Two: Autobiographical Writings, Narrative (Yale University Press, 1999), and My Bondage and My Freedom (Yale University Press, 2003), have been completed. The third and final volume of Autobiographical Writings, Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, was published in 2012. Of the third series, four volumes of Correspondence, the first volume was published in 2009, and the second is being prepared by the staff of The Frederick Douglass Papers for annotation research.

In addition, two paperback special edition volumes are in preparation for Yale University Press: a critical edition of Douglass novella, The Heroic Slave (1853), and a volume of thirty Selected Speeches from the project's first series. The former volume is being edited with the assistance of Robert Levine of the University of Maryland and John Stauffer of Harvard University. The volume of speeches is being edited by Julie Husband of Northern Iowa University and Heather Kaufman.




School of Liberal Arts Logo

Frederick Douglass Papers Edition
Institute for American Thought
902 West New York Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46202 ES0010
phone: 317-274-5834 fax: 317-278-7800


[Logo]: National Historical Publications and Records Commission