Annotated Guide to Other Jefferson Resources

There are numerous Jefferson-related historical sites, websites, and electronic resources, many with similar names and overlapping materials.  This annotated list, although by no means exhaustive, is meant to help clarify this “multiplicity of business” as discerning users weigh the merits of the many Jefferson offerings on the web.


Monticello is both a historic place and an essential modern site for information about Jefferson the man and his Charlottesville, Virginia, plantation home. Their website includes links to lesson plans, famous (and spurious) quotations, the Thomas Jefferson Encyclopedia, Jefferson’s library database, plantation database, and the Thomas Jefferson Retirement Series, which publishes the Jefferson correspondence from 4 March 1809 until his death in 1826 as well as family letters from 1809 to 1873. The Thomas Jefferson Portal online library catalog also offers unpublished research reports and papers, art and rare book catalogs with notes on Jefferson-related lots, archaeological reports, and MARC records for Frank Shuffelton’s comprehensive annotated bibliography of Jefferson citations.

Poplar Forest

Poplar Forest is Thomas Jefferson’s villa retreat and architectural project in Bedford County, Virginia.

Colonial Williamsburg

This site explores the place where the young Jefferson studied, read law, served as a legislator, and lived as governor and provides information about his many personal connections in the revolutionary city. A selection of Jefferson's writings is presented without contextual information or source attribution.

Sowerby Catalogue

In 1815, the Library of Congress purchased more than 6,000 books in Jefferson’s library as the basis for its own recreated collection. As part of the bicentennial commemoration of Jefferson's birth, the Library of Congress commissioned E. Millicent Sowerby to catalog and describe the contents of Jefferson’s library. This crucial bibliographic tool, Catalogue of the Library of Thomas Jefferson; Compiled with Annotations by E. Millicent Sowerby, was published as a five-volume edition between 1952 and 1959. It  is available digitally through the Library of Congress in facsimile scans of the catalogue pages and a separately constructed index.  Monticello also has a transcribed searchable electronic version as well through its Thomas Jefferson's Libraries database.

American Founders: A Guide to Their Online Papers and Publications (Library of Congress)

American Founders  The resources on this site provide online access to the personal papers and/or publications of the major founders of the American Republic—that is, those men who served in roles of national political leadership between 1774 and 1815 and to those of members of their immediate families. Compiled by the Library of Congress’s reference specialist for Early American History, Juretta Jordan Hecksher, the guide also includes information for accessing the electronic sources.                  

Miller Center at the University of Virginia

American President: Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

The Miller Center of Public Affairs at the University of Virginia presents essays about Jefferson and his life before, during, and after his presidential terms. The site's consulting editor is Jefferson scholar Peter Onuf. The site also provides biographical information about Jefferson’s  wife and cabinet officials as well as a select bibliography, details on his private and public papers, and a modernized rendering of some of his presidential speeches.

Avalon Project Documents in Law, History and Diplomacy

The Papers of Thomas Jefferson

The Avalon project from the Yale Law School Lillian Goldman Law Library provides a selection of Jefferson’s papers, including unproofread transcriptions of his annual messages to Congress, inaugural addresses, Indian addresses, and miscellaneous papers and letters. No editorial methodology or selection policy is offered.

Department of Humanities Computing, University of Groningen, The Netherlands

The Letters of Thomas Jefferson: 1743-1826

Part of the “From Revolution to Reconstruction” website of pre-World War I United States history, this site was first developed in 1994 by a group of history students from the University of Groningen in the Netherlands. The website consists of an incomplete sampling of letters written by Jefferson which are transcribed and indexed by year and correspondent and provided in ASCII format by volunteer contributors.