Historical Note on the Peirce Edition Project

Supported by Indiana University and with grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Science Foundation, the Peirce Edition Project began operation in July 1976 with Edward C. Moore as project director and Max Fisch as general editor. A staff was hired and a concerted effort was made to locate all of Peirce's publications and manuscripts. The arduous process of rearranging and dating the nearly 80,000 pages copied from the Harvard Peirce Papers was begun. During the first three years the organization for a complex critical edition was put in place: policy and editorial guides were drafted; contributing editors were chosen; editorial and advisory boards were appointed; a publishing contract was negotiated with the Indiana University Press; and work was begun on the first volume. A branch of the Project, led by Don D. Roberts, operated at the University of Waterloo for a few years until the mid-1980s. (The archival records from the Waterloo operation were returned to Indianapolis in 1998.)

The Project was reorganized with an enlarged staff in 1983, and in 1984, with Christian Kloesel as its new director, became an integral part of the School of Liberal Arts. The following years saw steady progress, but a period of disruption began in 1988, after the resignation of the original textual editor, and continued in varying degrees until its culmination in March 1993 when the Project learned that it would not be funded by the NEH for 1993-95. Steps were taken to absorb an inevitable budget slashing, the result being a reduction of staff to its lowest level since Moore and Fisch got the Project up and running in Indianapolis. In September 1993 Kloesel resigned to make way for a sweeping reorganization and, on 1 October, Nathan Houser was appointed as the Project's third director. Don Cook and Arthur Burks were appointed as consultants and Don D. Roberts was appointed chair of the advisory board.

Houser instituted a number of substantial changes upon becoming director. He works much more closely with Project advisors and consultants than was the practice in the past, and the Project's constituency is kept more informed of PEP's progress. Production methods have been revamped and the workspace has been redesigned for greater efficiency. In 1997 NEH awarded the Peirce Edition a new grant which, along with additional funding from IUPUI, enabled Houser to reestablish a full production team--the strongest team, overall, ever assembled in Indianapolis. And in the spring of 1998, the Project's advisory board was significantly reorganized.

IUPUI has over 26,000 students and includes fourteen schools and colleges ranging from liberal arts and the sciences to medicine, business, and law. It is one of three core campuses of the Indiana University and Purdue University systems and, in addition to its own libraries of over 800,000 volumes, it has full access to the library in Bloomington--one of the ten best research libraries in the US--and more limited access to the library in West Lafayette. In 1994 IUPUI dedicated its new University Library, among the first in the nation designed for the electronic information age. With electronic access to outside resources, the new library provides a powerful resource base with access to significant national and international collections. In 1998 IUPUI was selected to be the national hub for Internet2.

A completion date for the 30-volume edition depends so heavily on the level of funding--and hence of staffing--that it would be foolish to name a target date for completion. But with continued funding by IUPUI and the level of support we are requesting from NEH we are confident that we will be able to meet the following production schedule for volumes being worked on during the next five years:

Volume In Print

6 1999
7 (out of sequence) TBA
8 2000
9 2001
10 2002
20 2003